The All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted claims that President Buhari’s second term campaign has been hijacked by the ‘cabal’ in government.
Vanguard had earlier reported that an APC source alleged that the members of the ‘cabal’ are planning to sideline members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The source said that the plan is to make sure that the APC leadership does not have a say in the running of Buhari’s campaign.
Some Governors who are not in good terms with the party’s leadership have allegedly given conditions that they will only donate funds to the campaign, as long as it is not managed by the NWC members, the source added.
The source said “It is not about the capacity of the party leadership to drive the campaigns. I think some people just want to prove to the president that they can do it alone or perhaps some people want to be in control of campaign funds because there is nothing strategic about delaying the campaigns or not naming a campaign council less than two months to the elections.”
Also, an APC top member told Vanguard that the campaign has been hijacked by certain forces close to the President, adding that “One would have thought that with the pedigree of our National Chairman (Adams Oshiomhole) that some of these forces would give him a freehand to organize things, but that is not the case. Except if the chairman has information on the role we are expected to play, I can tell you that many of us do not exactly know much about the campaigns. The party has only recently been able to convince the presidency on the need to at least kick-start the campaigns before the end of this year and that is why we might be going to Akwa Ibom soon for what might pass for the formal launch of our campaigns.”
The APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu has however debunked the report, saying that no one has hijacked the campaign.
According to Daily Post, he said “Hijacked by who? If they hijacked it, to do what? Can they campaign without the president? Can they campaign without the party?
“We are all working together and there is no issue. Very shortly, the campaign council will be announced and campaigns will start.
“Election is February 16 and I keep telling people that campaigns are not all about rallies.
“There are several platforms of engagement with the voters. Many other aspects are ongoing. Our activities are ongoing.
“Yesterday, the president commissioned the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport.
“That is campaign to show that the same country that was not working is now working. That is what Nigerians are going to vote for in February.
“Nigerians are travelling this season, they will see activities going on on the roads. The roads that were not free for several hours, they are now going to be spending fewer hours.
“That is part of campaign. It is for people to go and see improvements and see possibilities and see that their country is now working.
“We are going to do rallies across the country. We are a party that is so proud of our achievements and we are very confident that our achievements are speaking for us already.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently raised an alarm saying that the APC has not set up a campaign organization ahead of the presidential election in 2019.
The party said that it is an indication that the ruling party is planning to manipulate the polls with the help of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Vanguard reports that sources in the Presidency say the delay in constituting a campaign team might be because those who did the job in 2015, have refused to be part of the re-election bid of the President due to the fact that their efforts were not recognized.