* APC govs absent at inaugural campaign council meeting
*Aso Rock managed by college of presidents- Secondus
By Chesa Chesa (Abuja) and Francis Nansak (Lafia)
Ahead of the February presidential election, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday expressed confidence that he would emerge victorious at the election.
He spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Campaign Council for his re-election where governors of the APC were conspicuously absent.
At the inauguration of the Council last week, Buhari had announced that the campaigns would be headed by APC chieftain and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In another development, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday alleged that Aso Rock is managed by a college of presidents. The statement was made by the chairman of the party, Uche Secondus during the party’s presidential rally in Lafia,
In Abuja, Buhari chaired Thursday’s inaugural session at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. No explanations were offered for the absence of the APC governors, who are state coordinators and members of the Council.
In his opening address, the President said the meeting was to outline the operational structure of the Council for collective decision-making to enhance the effectiveness and to assign key responsibilities to members.
“Even though we are confident of winning, I urge you to work as hard as you can so that we can maximise the scale and extent of our victory. I urge you to rise to the challenge of the great expectations this party and Nigerians have for you and the confidence that I personally have in the ability of all of you to deliver.
“With unity of purpose and effective harmony and communication, there is no political opponent you cannot overcome”, Buhari stated.
The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, told State House correspondents that the President would visit every state in the country for the campaigns during which the masses would be reminded of how bad the last 16 years had been for them until Buhari and the APC came to their rescue.
“The whole country is Mr. President’s constituency, so he will have to visit each of the 36 states with appropriate message reminding people who, given the challenges of survival tend to forget where we are coming from.
“You need to constantly remind Nigerians of what happened in the last 16 years and what has changed over the past three and half years, and what will change even more over the next four years if given the mandate to continue and consolidate.
“We think that we have enough message, the issue is how to communicate it knowing that the level of literacy varies from area to area. And in this business of one man one vote, whether you are a professor of economics or a stark illiterate, the vote is the same”, he said.
On why the governors did not attend the meeting, the party boss said it was “because they are governors, they are governing their states. Don’t forget that elections are not defined in Abuja, it will take place in the 36 states and I’m sure there are APC members who are campaigning for the House of Assembly, various federal house and senate constituencies, governorship constituencies.
“So it will not be helpful to bring them to Abuja. Here it is about policies, it will be consummated and translated to practice across the 36 states, 774 local governments and wards.”
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, also declared that APC was very poised not just to undertake very smooth and scintillating and enjoyable campaign but also very poised to win the next election.
He said: “We are running on the basis of our first term performance. The achievements of Mr. President are all there for people to see and I think the entire country is quite excited, quite unlike our colleagues in the PDP who do not seem to have anything except to criticize, attempt to run campaigns of calumny and false accusations against us in the APC.”
Aso Rock managed by college of presidents
The People Democratic Party National Chairman ,Prince Uche Secondus in Lafia, Nasarawa state said that the Nigerian Presidential Villa, at the moment is being managed by a college of presidents against Buhari whom Nigerian elected in 2015.
He has also challenged the president to come out and point to the nation what he was able to achieved in the past years he took over government.
According to him, Aisha Buhari, the wife of the president attested to the fact that the government of APC led by President Muhammad Buhari has been hijacked by people she described as Cabals.
The PDP National chairman made the allegation in Lafia during the Atiku/ Obi campaign rally on Thursday.
While calling on Nigerians to vote out the APC government, he said what the government of President Buhari can be remembered for at the exit of the government come May 29 this year, will be the massive killings which greeted the country since he was elected president.
“Today, we want tell you that the time for the restoration of the country, where Nigerians will enjoy abundant food, sufficient security and employment has come, when you who are here will decides to vote APC out of government at all levels” He said.
Also speaking, the president of the senate, Alhaji Abubakar Bukola Saraki, blasted the APC and the government of Muhammad Buhari for outright neglect and disrespect for the rule of law.
Senator Saraki who is the Director-General of the Atiku/Obi Campaign organisation, stated that apart from intimidation of the opposition and other well meaning Nigerians, the APC government cannot boost of any achievement in any part of the country apart from projects initiated by the PDP leaders.
Also Yakubu Dogara the Speaker of the House of representative urged Nigerians to free themselves from the clutches of insecurity which the present government has inflicted on the land.
Speaker Dogara however said that the man for the job is Atiku Abubakar who he said, is a master in job creation and balancing of the national resources.
He added that the presidential election is not just about Buhari and Atiku but will be a referendum.
“I beg you my brothers and sisters, let’s make this work by voting out the APC so that we can advance in our quest to be a developed nation”, the Speaker said.