The All Progressives Congress (APC) would today in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital, flag off its presidential campaign in a rally to be graced by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is coming as President Buhari has appointed former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, as the National Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee.
Answering questions from journalists Thursday in the State House, Abuja, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomohole, said the decision to kick-off the rally in the South-south was significant, pointing out that the people of Akwa Ibom State are in good mood and are not only anxious to see the president but also to hear his message.
“Campaigns will start tomorrow in Uyo, we are flagging off with the South-south and it is going to be the first rally of the president and taking place in the South-south is particularly significant. From all the feelers we have I think the people of Akwa Ibom State are anxious to receive the president and to hear the message. We are all in good mood,” he said.
Asked about the president’s chances of re-election, Oshiomhole said such question was unnecessary, arguing that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was dismissed by the electorate on account of gross misconduct and financial maladministration in 2015 could not be recalled by the same voters who laid it off.
“Of course, how can you ask what the chances are? If PDP was doing well after 16 years, they wanted to do it for 60 years but they were terminated. No employer will recall an employee dismissed due to gross misconduct and abuse of finances. You don’t recall such employee back.
“I remember that the best (Uche) Secondus had to say was that he was apologising to Nigerian people and I have not heard anybody saying they have accepted the apology, and people who have robbed you, they don’t apologise and say, ‘allow me back into your store room.’ You don’t do that.
“So, we are certain that even as we can’t talk of any perfect situation, nothing can make Nigeria get so confused as to think that yesterday, there was mismanagement and those who were at the heart of that mismanagement can be entrusted with providing leadership for tomorrow.
“I don’t think that is the question at all. PDP is out of this calculation as far as I am concerned…PDP is just not an option particularly when their candidate is not a new face. There is basis for benefit of the doubt. You can give benefit of the doubt to a stranger, not to someone who was at the heart of it, perhaps one of the most powerful vice-president we have ever had. So, I am clear that Nigeria will never ever have basis to give PDP the benefit of the doubt,” he added.
President Buhari had earlier unveiled a documented details of his administration’s achievements and a new action plan titled:’ Next Level,’ with which he hoped to woo the electorate to support him for a second term.
The much-awaited event, according to sources, would be used to prove the popularity of President Buhari in South-south zone.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, the party said President Buhari would use the occasion to present the scorecard of the administration and its successes on its three cardinal objectives, which include security, economy and fight against corruption.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has appointed Akpabio as the National Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee
The Akwa Ibom state Coordinator of the committee, Pastor Mfon Okon, who disclosed this in Uyo, said four indigenes of the state have also been appointment into the committee.
They include Lady Valerie Ebe, a former deputy governor of the state as chairman, National Advisory Committee; Senator John Akpanudoedehe as National Director, Planning and Strategy; Senator Aloysius Etok – National Director for inter-party affairs, and the party’s South-south zonal woman leader, Mrs. Rachael Akpabio, as the National Assistant Welfare Secretary.
Okon said appointments were a reflection of the confidence President Buhari reposed on their ability to successfully work for his re-election in the forthcoming presidential election.
He called on the people of the state to fully key into national politics by supporting the APC to return the president, and ensure that the party wins Akwa Ibom State in 2019.