President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday 7th January 2019 inaugurated the APC Presidential campaign Council where he declared that the campaign will be run by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the co-chair with him. President Buhari said that he is doing this in order not to allow governance to suffer while the campaigns are on. The Atiku campaign condemned this immediately.
According to President Buhari while launching the APC Campaign council in Abuja yesterday.
“Even though we have only 40 days, this campaign is going to tax us all, because we intend to touch all corners of our great and vast country,” he said.
“But I must also add that, though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil,” Mr Buhari said.
Mr Buhari said the entire “operational buck” of the campaign stops at the table of Mr Tinubu.
“I therefore urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with Asiwaju whenever guidance is needed,” he said.
Mr Buhari called on members of the campaign team to unite and cooperate and ensure a smooth operation.
He said directorates could co-opt on full or part-time basis persons who could add value to the campaign and help it to attain success.
“To my mind, the division of responsibility is clear enough. The Leadership that has formulated the campaign policy will supervise its execution; the Director-General will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the campaign, including field operations; while the Secretary will be responsible for all administrative and treasury-related activities of the council,” he said.
The Atiku Abubakar campaign in their response told President Buhari not to use this as an excuse not to attend the Presidential Debate slated for February 19.
“President Buhari has only attended one campaign, which was the one held in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State capital). He is pushing people ahead to campaign for him because his chickens have come home to roost.
“It proves what we’ve been trying to say before that Buhari doesn’t have the energy and rigour to campaign.
“If he is giving someone else the task of leading his campaign, he could have as well given his presidential ticket to someone who has the energy.
“He should not use this as an excuse to be absent from the presidential debate.
“Nigerians want someone they can question and someone who is willing to listen to them. So, he (Buhari) should take charge of his own campaign.”
Sowunmi said boycotting campaign was the same thing as boycotting governance, asking President Buhari to take up his responsibility.
“His excuse that he doesn’t want governance to suffer is not tenable. In the United States, United Kingdom, France and other great countries, campaign is part of governance because it is an avenue to interact with your people. Hence, Buhari should not hand over his campaign to someone else.
“In the first place, if he had organised the system to be running smoothly, he would not have given this excuse,” Sowunmi added.
The Presidential Debate is organized by the Nigeria Election Debate Group. Nigerians are expectant and hopeful to hear the major Presidential candidates speak about the issues and challenges of Nigeria post-2019.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) equally responded to the transfer of full powers to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to run the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign by President Buhari.
In statement by the spokesperson of PDP Presidential Campaign Organization Kola Ologbondiyan said Buhari shouldn’t set Nigeria on fire because he won’t be the first President to be defeated.
“We want the Buhari Presidency to note that it is preposterous for anybody, no matter how highly placed, to think that our great party, the PDP and our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who enjoys the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians, can be subdued out of the political space in our country.
“Our heroes past fought against colonialism and won. Our modern heroes fought the military and gained today’s democracy for our nation so that every Nigerian can enjoy freedoms and rights as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Nigerians are therefore not ready to surrender these freedoms and rights to neo-totalitarianism or allow anybody to suppress them in their own land.
“We therefore counsel President Buhari to tame his desperation for power. Our nation has had many Presidents before President Buhari and there will be many more after him.
“President Buhari will not be the first President to be defeated in an election as such he should not set our nation on fire just because he is feeling the air of rejection due to his incompetence and the gale of corruption in his administration.
“Our party is courageously going into the general elections with the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians and they are not ready to accept any result that does not reflect their already expressed wishes
There was panic at the Port Harcourt International airport when an Azman Air flight 5N-NAS from Lagos made an emergency landing. The aircraft was a Boeing 737. The plane had 114 passengers onboard before the incident occurred.
A close and confidential source to the airline said the incident happened at about 10:57 am on Thursday 3rd January, 2019.
According to the source; “35 minutes into the flight, the pilot-in-command had informed the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) at Port Harcourt Airport of the breakdown of one of its engines and declared emergency immediately.
It was gathered that the ATC approved the emergency status for the pilot, but the pilot in an attempt to land missed the approach light and had to again.
Within this period, it was learnt that there was a huge panic among the passengers who were already informed of the incident.