The Spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, has given reasons for the exclusion of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, from the 422-man list of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.
According to him, their absence was because President Muhammadu Buhari “specifically directed” that they should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country.
Keyamo made this known in a statement on Saturday hours after the party released a longlist of powerbrokers as members of the Campaign Council.
He said, “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.
“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, Mr. 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.”
Keyamo also said the list released is subject to “periodic review”.
“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.”
Aside from Osinbajo and Mustapha, other prominent members of the party not included in the campaign council include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, amongst others.
Osinbajo and Nwajiuba had contested the presidential primary of the ruling party with former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, the eventual winner, whilst Dogara and Lawal have fiercely registered their opposition to Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim like himself as running mate.