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.Party to flag off presidential campaign rally in Jos Nov. 15
.Critics of Tinubu’s Hope manifesto want to score cheap political points – Babay
IBRAHIM QUADRI and Obiorah Ifoh
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi on Thursday said the party presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expecting nothing less than five million votes in the forthcoming general elections in the State.
Ojelabi made the disclosure during the inauguration of the State APC Campaign Committee which was held at the party Secretariat, Ogba, Ikeja.
The Election Management Committee is to be assisted by eleven Directorates which include, Secretariat; Planning, Research and Strategy; Budget and Finance; Mobilisation; Transport and Logistics; Strategic Communications; Volunteer/Support Group; Legal; Information and Technology; Religious; Ethnic Nationalities; Women; Youth & Student Affairs; Security; Organising; as well as Special Duties.
The Campaign Committee is headed by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Chairman of the party, Ojelabi is the Deputy Chairman while the Deputy Governor is the Vice Chairman.
Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon (GOS) emerged as the Director General while Fouad Oki is the Secretary of the Committee.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Lagos APC Chairman, Ojelabi said, “Today’s inauguration of the Campaign Committee consolidates our preparation for the general election. The task ahead of us is enormous, but with the quality of membership of this Committee, I am positive that our Party will once again prove its ability to successfully midwife another victorious election outing in 2023. We must live up to thet billing.
“Your nomination to serve in this committee is based on your knowledge and ability in campaign strategy and planning, mobilisation, logistics and election management. The success of the general election therefore rests on your effectiveness and commitment.
He said, “You are enjoined to work as a team and to carry everyone on board. You are also recommended to reconcile seeming differences within members of the party which might have arisen following the Party primaries, for us to confront the election with a united front.
“I have no doubt this powerful committee under the direction of Distinguished Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon and coordination of veteran and political management guru, Ogboni Fouad Oki, will do us proud and win overwhelmingly for our dear Party APC. Asiwaju is not expecting anything less than five million votes in Lagos.
“I am glad to say with sense of satisfaction the growing fortunes of the party in Lagos back-to-back the last six election cycles. This will no doubt increase our chance of winning the election with landslide victory.”
While calling on the committee to concentrate on issues that would add value to the success of the party, the Chairman said members should avoid issues that might distract them from the path of victory.
In his speech, the DG said, “Today, in the Lagos State chapter of our great Progressives Congress (APC), is a very important and significant moment. This is because we are taking a step of faith-faith reinforced by evident hard work, responsible leadership and testimonials of many of unbroken promises.
“It is not by accident that Lagos is called Nigeria’s melting pot and commercial nerve centre. Tolerant, accommodating and progressive, courtesy of our great party that, has been through many transformations in our current democratic experience, Lagos is by all standards, the nation’s pacesetter and trail blazer state, in terms of development and leadership, in addition to her rich aquatic splendour.
*However, four months from now, history will be made again in the annals of our body polity in Lagos, when our diligent governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, will be re-elected for another good turn of four years. But this is not automatic.
“We are though confident of our record upon which we hope to ride to victory in March 2023, nevertheless, it is not in our character to take anything for granted. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Lagosians are not ingrates and would never repay good with evil. They not only see what our government of APC under Governor Sanwo-Olu, has done and still doing; they can feel them as well.
“Besides, it is not by error that we are identified as the progressives. We are known to plan, strategise and build sufficient safety into our assumptions, just so there is always an ace to fall back on, whenever the battle gets tougher. Regardless, politics, for us, is not a do-or-die affair.
“The reason we are here today and being inaugurated is to lead the charge for our governor’s re-election. It goes without saying that all members of this campaign council are heavyweights and personalities with name-recognition. What this means is that we are up to the task and confident of delivering, bearing also in mind that, we have been doing this seamlessly in our party for 23 years non-stop. , 2023 will not be different.
“Without sounding overly arrogant, our governor and party do not have any serious challenger in next year’s election in the state, if record and antecedents were to play a major role. This is not playing to the gallery. Yet, we will take nothing for granted and approach the election as if it’s the oxygen we breathe.”
Meanwhile, The city of Jos, capital of Plateau State will host the flag-off rally of the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential campaign, according to a programme released by the campaign council.
The rally will take off from 15 November.
Plateau is the home state of Governor Simon Lalong, the Director-General of APC Presidential Campaign Council.
According to the Director, Media and Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, in a statement explained that the campaign was kicked off on Tuesday, November 1, with the Town Hall meeting in Lagos between Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu and business leaders in Lagos.
More of such town hall meetings will take place before the mega rally in Kano on February 11, 2023.
The Kano rally will draw the curtains on the campaign, as the party shifts into election planning mode.
Other highlights of the campaign are rallies in Imo on Monday, November 21; Kwara, November 22; Adamawa, November 24; Ogun, November 26; Enugu, November 26; and Sokoto, November 30.
In between the rallies are scheduled five town hall meetings, one of which will be with Interfaith groups in Abuja on November 9.
The other town hall meetings will be between the candidate and various business and agricultural groups.
The campaign council implores party structures, party chieftains and members across the country to continue to mobilise support for the party and presidential candidate and his running mate to ensure APC wins the presidential and other down ballot elections.
However, A chieftain of the ruling All progressive congress (APC), Dr Musa Babayo has faulted the notions held in certain quarters that the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu plagiarized the Hope 93 manifesto of late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Babayo who is the Director of the Planning, Research and Strategy Directorate of the Tinibu/Shettima campaign organisation argued that those behind such talks were doing so to score cheap political gains.
Babayo who spoke during the inauguration of the directorate in Abuja explained that, unlike Abiola’s Hope 93 manifesto which has been overtaken by events, Tinubu’s manifesto seeks to address contemporary challenges in the country.
Said he: “You know politicians have a way of distracting their audience from the message. Management is management. I am a professional manager and I know the basic principle of management are planning, coordination and control.
“It would continue to be in existence till the end of time. Nobody is going to reinvent the wheel. Issues keep on changing. This manifesto is not copy and paste. The manifesto is a brand new document that has incorporated some of the monumental challenges of the Nigerian state.
“There was no security challenge that was highlighted in the Hope 93 manifesto. There was no issue of the Maradi-Kano rail line in the 1993 hope manifesto. Nigeria of 1993 is different from Nigeria of today. Soon this administration would open the second Niger bridge.
“There was nothing like that in 1993. This is factual. So I want to dismiss in its entirety the comment made by the spokesperson of the other campaign organisation. They have the right to talk because we are already ahead in the competition.
“And when you are ahead of a competition, you should respect those behind you to try as much as possible to shrink your own share of the market share.”
Expressing optimism that Tinubu would emerge victorious at the 2023 poll, he maintained that the 2023 poll remains the most significant poll in the history of the country.
He added: “It is the most important election in this country for many reasons. This is a period in the world when the global economy is going through a drastic change. No nation in the world is isolated and isolated from the global phenomenon of economy, climate change and most importantly bringing the country together.
“This is a ticket that has been misconstrued, this is a ticket that would make the nation better than what it is today. This is a ticket that would end the political identity politics.”
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