‘Its a lie, Osinbajo opted out because of Muslim/Muslim ticket’ – Atiku Campaign spokesman
The Bola Ahmed Tinubu campaign council on Saturday said President Muhammadu Buhari had specifically requested that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo be left out of the presidential campaign team to enable him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.” Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, however said this is not true, adding that Osinbajo opted out because of the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Tinubu and Shettima.
This was contained in a statement by the campaign council spokesman, Festus Keyamo, SAN. He explained that as a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns.
This clarification came on the heels of the release of a 422-member APC Campaign Team on Saturday. Also missing on the list are Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation; Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives; Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.
Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau state, retained his position as director-general of the campaign council while Adams Oshiomhole, former APC chairman, and Bayo Onanuga are listed as the deputy director-general (operations) and director of media and publicity, respectively.
Also included in the list is Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, who fell out with Tinubu in the months leading up to the Osun governorship election.
Addressing the situation, Keyamo said all key government officials cannot abandon their responsibilities and focus on the election campaign.
“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement reads.
“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.
“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.
“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.
“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”
In a counter offensive, however, Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, says he salutes Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), for “rejecting” the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We salute the courage of Professor Osinbajo and Boss Mustapha for rejecting the MM ticket by asking to be left out of the campaign council of APC. Say no to religious politics. Nigerians would decide at the polls,” he tweeted.