The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to stop gallivanting around the world, because the 2023 presidential election would not be decided in Paris, Washington or Dubai, but in Nigeria by Nigerians.
The campaign council dismissed PDP as a drowning party, as APC resolved to flag off its presidential campaign, ahead of the 2023 elections, in Jos on November 15.
Director of Special Media Projects and New Media, Tinubu/Shettima PCC, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, made the assertions in reaction to the statement credited to one of the spokespersons of the PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Senator Dino Melaye.
Melaye had described the APC vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, as “grand commander of bandits”.
Melaye also alleged that Shettima was aiming at establishing an office for the Boko Haram terrorists at the presidential villa if the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, won the election in 2023.
But Fani-Kayode, in his reply, described Melaye’s outburst as absolute nonsense, saying, “These are nonsensical words, spoken on behalf of a nonsensical man, who is running a nonsensical campaign.”
He stated that the allegation against Shettima was absurd and designed to terrify the people and make them feel that APC was a party of terrorists and that the party’s candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, condoned terrorism.
Fani-Kayode stated, “The assertion that Dino Melaye is making is at the consequences of the failure of his candidate’s campaign within and outside Nigeria. They went to America, they went to France, they went all over the world, crawling in the corridors of those in power in the places they went and nobody was prepared to see them or discuss with them.
“So, they are drowning fast and instead of focusing on the issues and stay at home the way our candidate (Tinubu) is going. What they are doing is throwing stones, hauling bricks at us, insulting us and making absurd claims about our presidential candidate and our vice presidential candidate.
“But let me remind them that at the end, it is Nigerians who will decide. It will not be decided in Paris or Washington or Dubai, it will be decided by Nigerians. All I want them to know is that we are going to defeat them at the polls and that is what matters to us.”
On the allegation that Shettima was the commander-in-chief of Boko Haram, Fani-Kayode said the allegation had been investigated over and over again, and proven to be false.
The APC presidential campaign director said, “Senator Kassim Shettima is a refined, decent and Godly man, who simply wants to help his nation and ensure we move forward as a people. If you look at his record in Borno State as a governor, before he went to serve as senator, you will see what he did.
“If you look at his successor in office, Prof. Babagana Zulum, he, too, is doing a great job in Borno. That is not a legacy of a terrorist. What we have in Borno is a legacy of a great leader, that is what Shettima stands for.
“For anybody to try to smear his name this way is a reflection of that person more than anything else. Not only was it a reflection of Melaye himself, it is also a reflection of the man (Atiku) he is speaking for.
“I can tell you that Atiku Abubakar is a traitor, who continuously betrayed everybody that has worked with him, including President Obasanjo, late Gen. Yar’Adua, late President Yar’Adua, including APC and the PDP.
“His record of public office is betrayal. At the end of the day, he’ll betray PDP again. You remember, he betrayed the governors of his party. He broke his words and Dino Melaye is saying this is the man that should be President of our country. No way!
“The truth is that Kassim Shettima is 100 times a better man and we will prove that at the polls. We will defeat Atiku even in his local government area in Adamawa State by the grace of God.”
Meanwhile, the timetable and schedule of activities of APC sighted by THISDAY showed that the party scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with agro and commodity groups in Niger State on November 7, while Inter-faith town hall meeting would be held on November 9. The party scheduled another town hall meeting for Calabar on November 12.
According to the schedule, on November 21, APC will hold a rally and South-east stakeholders’ meeting in Imo State, and hold a similar rally and meeting in Kwara State for North-central on November 22.
The party’s town hall meeting with CSOs in Edo State is slated to hold on November 28, with a rally scheduled in Enugu State on November 29, and another in Sokoto on November 30.
On December 1, the party would hold a rally in Rivers State and on December 3, it would hold another rally and South-west zonal meeting in Lagos, while slating “international engagements” between December 4 and 10.
On December 12, the party would hold a rally and North-west zonal stakeholders meeting in Kaduna, from where the campaign train would move to Benue State on December 13, before berthing in Ondo State on December 15. It slated a rally of its youth campaign team in Abuja on December 17.
On December 19, the party would hold a rally in Bayelsa State, with another rally in Zamfara State on December 20, while a town hall meeting with the creative arts industry will take place in Lagos on December 21, and a musical concert will be held on December 22.
The ruling party’s campaign train will hit Kano on January 4, and it will move to Edo State on January 5, and berth in Ebonyi on January 7, while Oyo’s rally is slated for January 9. The campaign train will move to Yobe State on January 20, while Akwa Ibom will play host to the campaign team on January 12, and that of Nasarawa will be held on January 14.
The party’s rally in Abia State will take place on January 17, while Gombe State’s rally and North-east zonal stakeholders’ meeting are scheduled for January 18. Taraba State will host a similar rally on January 19 and Jigawa will host the rally on January 21.
The campaign team will move to Bauchi on 23, Osun on 24, and Niger State on 26. Similarly, Cross River State’s rally and South-south zonal meeting is scheduled to hold on January 28, while the Anambra State rally is slated for January 30.
The timetable showed that there would be rally in Kebbi State on February 2, Ekiti State February 2, Kogi State February 4, and Kastina State on February 6.
On February 8, 2023, there will be a rally and musical concert in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Borno State rally is schedule for February 9, Kano State February 11, while the Lagos rally, which will be the last, is scheduled to hold on February 13.
The PCC will use the period from February 12 to 24 next year for “election planning”, the schedule of activities revealed.
Director of Police Research and Strategy Directorate of the Tinibu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Dr. Musa Babayo, said yesterday that the ruling party was ahead of all the other political parties.
Babayo stated this during the inauguration of members of the directorate. He said the directorate was responsible for focusing the robust manifesto document, “Renewed Hope”, into its most critical elements and engaging in the formulation of strategies as to how to attract Nigerians to the Tinubu/Shettima ticket.
Babayo noted that the directorate would help to ensure that the campaign focused its message on the most contemporary challenges that Nigerians were facing today around the economy, security, and other key issues.
The Agro Commodities Directorate of the PCC also promised to mobilise of 25 million farmers to deliver Tinubu in next year’s election. The director, Hon. Abubakar Kuka, while speaking at the inauguration of the 60-man committee, said the event would avail the farmers the opportunity to participate in the process that would bring in “Renewed Hope” for all farmers across the country.
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