Tinubu takes charge of Buhari’s reelection campaign
He can’t represent you at debate, Atiku tells president
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated the 2019 All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council with himself as chairman.
He promised to make sure that governance and his work as president of the country do not suffer within the next 40 days despite the task ahead.
President Buhari who acknowledged that the campaign would be grueling, directed the national leader of the party, and co-chairman of the exercise, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to take charge of the project and keep a 24-hour vigil.
“Though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer. Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil,” the President said yesterday.
According to Buhari, the operational buck of the campaign stops at Tinubu’s table. He urged all in the leadership, and those in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with the former Lagos State governor whenever guidance is needed.
He said the campaign council was
constituted with conscious determination to ensure inclusiveness and excellence, and was expected to conduct the campaign based on our modest achievements to turn around the beleaguered country from insecurity, stagnation and massive abuse of scarce public resources.
At the event, which held at the International Conference Center, Abuja, President Buhari said Nigerians voted the party into power in 2015 because they put trust and confidence that the administration would make a great difference.
Buhari, who reiterated his commitment to free and fair elections, said his utmost desire was to bequeath and enthrone a legacy of democracy as a system of government, adding that for democracy to be enthroned, elections must be free and fair.
The Director General of the campaign council and minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in his remarks, said the reason the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP said Nigerians were presently hungry was because of their bad governance and looting of public treasury.
In a swift reaction, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, cautioned Buhari against using the handover of his campaign to Tinubu as “an excuse” to be absent from the presidential debate.
The event is organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and is slated for January 19, 2019.
In an interview, the spokesman for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Mr. Segun Sowunmi, said it was sad that whereas other presidential candidates were busy campaigning and wanting to be questioned by the people, President Buhari was boycotting campaign because he had nothing to campaign for.
Sowunmi said the development also showed that the President did not have the rigour it takes to campaign and govern the country.
“President Buhari has only attended one campaign, which was the one held in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State capital). He is pushing people ahead to campaign for him because his chickens have come home to roost.
“It proves what we’ve been trying to say before that Buhari doesn’t have the energy and rigour to campaign. If he is giving someone else the task of leading his campaign, he could have as well given his presidential ticket to someone who has the energy. He should not use this as an excuse to be absent from the presidential debate.
Nigerians want someone they can question and someone who is willing to listen to them. So, he (Buhari) should take charge of his own campaign.”
Sowunmi said boycotting campaign was the same thing as boycotting governance, asking President Buhari to take up his responsibility.
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