Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council for the 2019 election, who double as coordinators in their respective states, were conspicuously absent at the inaugural meeting which held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, yesterday.
The agenda was to consider and approve the structure and operational modalities of the campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is chairman of the council, said this at the opening ceremony before the meeting went into a closed door session.
In attendance were the co-chairman of the campaign council, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who is deputy chairman of the council.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who is the director general of the campaign team, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, the director general (Opera- tions) and Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general (Coordination) also attend- ed the meeting.
Also in attendance were the zonal directors (North West), Senator Aliyu Wamakko, (North East) Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, (North Central), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, (South West), Sola Oke, (South East), Sharon Ikeazor, and (South South), Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Other members of the council present included Senator George Akume, vice chairman (North) and Senator Ken Nnamani, vice chairman (South); among others.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed confidence that he’ll win the February 16 presidential election.
This was even as Oshiomhole explained to State House Correspondents why APC governors were absent at the inaugural meeting.
Speaking at the opening ceremony before the closed door session, Buhari said: “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.”
He charged council members to ensure they deliver success to the party.
“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.
“Needless to add, your selection was not easy, because in forming this council, the party settled only for the best. You are the cream of the party and I assure you that with the unity of purpose and effective harmony
and communication, there is no political opponent you cannot overcome,” the president said.
On the governors’ absence, Oshiomhol 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’m sure there are APC members who are campaigning for the House of Assembly, various federal house and senate constituencies, governorship constituencies. So, it will not be helpful to bring them to Abuja. Here, it is about policies, it will consummated and translated to practice across the 36 states, 774 local governments and ward.”
He reiterated that the elections will be on the difference between 16 years misrule and three and half years of change.
In his remarks, the former Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, said the ruling party is poised to win the presidential election.