A mild drama ensued at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of Wednesday, January 24, 2018, when Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, showed up with President Muhammadu Buhari re-election campaign materials.
On January 3, 2018, Shittu emerged from a meeting with Buhari at the villa and announced that he had been appointed national chairman of the board of trustees of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group.
The group’s main objectives are to flag off the Buhari/Osinbajo re-election campaign and canvass support for the incumbent duo.
Desperate to prove that he’s been hard at work with the president’s re-election plans, Shittu showed up at the FEC meeting this week with a Ghana-Must-Go bag packed full with campaign memorabilia.
Top of the memorabilia were caps with the inscription “Continuity ’19: Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo”.
The caps were also emblazoned with the logo of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
Shittu was spotting one of the bluish caps himself and looking the part.
Stopped by Boss
However, as the minister made to distribute the caps through council staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, prevented him from doing so, villa sources told Pulse.
“It was not a good time, given that former president had denounced re-election moves at a time when herdsmen have been killing Nigerians, in his letter”, one villa source said.
Obasanjo’s lengthy letter contained the following words: “And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate”.
Pulse learnt that Shittu handed over the Ghana-Must-Go bag containing caps, to villa staff whose job it was to distribute them to council members. But Mustapha would have none of it.
Emerging from the Council Chambers after the meeting, Shittu defended his action before a crop of State House correspondents.
“The cap is for politics. It is not for FEC deliberations. The caps have been distributed to all members of the FEC so that they will be samples for other persons who are interested in doing what we have done”,Punch quotes Shittu as saying.
“I know that everybody will be involved, everybody will be guided and people will take decisions largely to support the President in the 2019 elections.
“A lot of people across the country have started calling us that they want to be part of our programme. They are glad that we have started this early and I am sure that we will be able to neutralise the nay sayers,” Shittu vowed.
President Buhari is yet to say if he’ll seek a second term or not, but State Governors and party faithful have since flagged off re-election campaignon his behalf.