As part of the preparations for the 2023 general election, former Lagos State governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday night, is meeting with some governors elected on the platform of the APC to take a final decision on the formation and structure of the party’s presidential campaign council.
A . privy to the development told LEADERSHIP that at least seven APC governors including that of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; Abdulahi Ganjuje of Kano State; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, and Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others, have arrived for the closed-door meeting being held in Tinubu’s Ikoyi residence in Lagos as of the time of filing this report.
It would be recalled that the party leadership had earlier settled for a former national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as the chairman of the presidential campaign council, while Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, was picked as the Director-General.
But, following the uproar generated by the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the party, it was gat.d that Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, is being considered to replace Governor El-Rufai as the DG of the APC presidential campaign council.
It was learnt that Lalong’s name would be announced for the DG’s role at the end of the Monday night meeting because of his appeal to the Christian majority in the Middle Belt region and the aggrieved Christians in the North.
The Lagos meeting is expected to come up with the composition of the media and communications directorate of the campaign council, which needed to step up its work as soon as possible ahead of the start of campaigns on September 28 as stipulated in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines and schedule of activities.
Before now, the Managing Director of Independent Communications Network Limited, publishers of TheNEWS, PMNEWS and Tempo and former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN), Mr. Bayo Onanuga, had been the director of media and communications of Tinubu Campaign Organisation.
Onanuga and his team pivoted Tinubu’s campaign months leading to the APC presidential primary election and has been in charge since Tinubu emerged as the party’s presidential flagbearer.
At the end of the meeting which just started, the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, is likely to emerge as the campaign spokesperson, even though he was one of the major backers of a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during the presidential primary.
Keyamo was Director of Strategic Communications for the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 and it was learnt that the APC presidential candidate and his running mate want the minister for the image making job.
Impeccable party .s have insisted that Onanuga will retain his position as the Director of Media and Communications.
It was also gat.d that a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Dele Alake, will come in as Director of Strategic communications, while Keyamo will work as the campaign spokesperson.
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