•Why governors were absent, by Oshionhole
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with the Co-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other members at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He spoke of his confidence that his party will win the February 16 presidential election and advised the team not to slow down its pace.
The meeting was convened to consider and approve the structure and operation modalities of the Campaign Council.
Buhari said: “It is my pleasure to welcome all of you members of the APC Presidential Campaign Council to this inaugural meeting. Our main objective is to serve as the forum for collective decision-making to enhance the effectiveness of the campaign effort.
“I would like to appeal to you to dedicate and commit yourself once again to the task at hand. There is no doubt that victory is with us; it is ours, but that shouldn’t mean we should rest even for a moment.
“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.
“You are the cream of the party and I assure you that with unity of purpose and effective harmony and communication, there is no political opponent you cannot overcome. Our agenda for this meeting is to consider and approve the structure and operational modalities of the Presidential Campaign Council – the terms of reference of your various directorates and organogram that will determine how you will relate with each other and how you will eventually discharge your responsibilities in the campaign.”
But before the meeting went into closed session, APC governors were absent at the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Campaign Council.
The APC governors are expected to serve as coordinators in their states. Governorship candidates in non- APC states are to serve as state coordinators.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, said that the governors were absent because they stayed back to govern their states.
He said: “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 am sure there are APC members who are campaigning for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives 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 government areas and awards.”
Oshiomhole also stated that President Buhari will visit the 36 states because the entire country is his constituency.
Oshiomhole said: “The whole country is Mr. President’s constituency. So, he will have to visit each of the 36 states with appropriate message, reminding people always. You know in the country today , given the challenges of survival, people tend to forget where we are coming from they just look at where we are.
“There is a saying that except you know and remember where you are coming from, you cannot appreciate where you are. Even in the life of a man those who look at those in their front will never thank God enough but when you look at your back and see those behind then you will appreciate that you have made a lot of progress.
“So, 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. You know that the business of construction is even much more challenging than when you are building a complete new house,” Oshiomhole said.
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