Twenty-two former presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are to unite for the party’s presidential standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu it was learnt yesterday.
They have scheduled a meeting for next Wednesday in Abuja to strategise on how Tinubu will win the February poll next year.
Their decision to rally behind the party’s candidate is coming about six months before the election slated for February 28, 2023.
The decision also came on a day Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni inaugurated the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Office in Damaturu, the state capital.
One of the aspirants, Dr Nicolas Felix, dropped the hint in a statement issued yesterday by his Media Office in Abuja.
The statement reads: “The special invitation to the strategic meeting of all 2023 APC presidential aspirants, which will be held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, by 2 pm is to brainstorm on adopting winning campaign strategies that will carry every Nigerian along and address the challenges bedevilling our country.”
Expected at the meeting are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former ministers Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation), Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology), Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (Minister of State for Education) and Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta Affairs).
Also billed to attend the meeting are governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and former Zamfara State Governor Ahmad Sani.
Others are Senate President Ahmad Lawan; senators Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Boroffice, and Rochas Okorocha; former Senate President Ken Nnamani; a former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole; notable cleric Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pastor Nicolas Felix, former Information Minister Ikeobasi Mokelu, businessman Tein Jack-Rich and the only female among them, Mrs Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
Twenty-three aspirants jostled for the APC presidential ticket Presidential Primary/Extra-Ordinary Convention at Eagle Square from June 7 to 10.
Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to clinch the APC ticket. He was trailed by Amaechi and Prof. Osinbajo who scored 316 and 235 votes.
The political activities for the 2023 general election gained more steam in Yobe State yesterday with the inauguration of the Presidential Campaign Office for Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Kashim Shettima in Damaturu.
The expansive office is located on the ever-busy Maiduguri Road in Damaturu.
Buni said: “I’m really impressed with what I saw in terms of preparations and organisations of the campaign structure here in Yobe State.
“Though the ban on the campaign has not been lifted, I am highly impressed with the level of preparation that I have seen on the ground here.”
According to him, voters in the state will not waste their ballot on any other political party apart from the APC.
He said: “Yobe is APC and APC is Yobe. So, our people are on board and we are soliciting their support as usual. We are not taking them for granted.
“We will ensure that we reach out to all nooks and crannies of the state to ensure victory for APC, Isha Allah.”
The governor was accompanied by his deputy Idi Barde Gubana; Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Baba Malam Wali; Head of Service (HoS) Garba Bilal; House of Assembly Speaker Ahmed Lawan Mirwa and other government functionaries.
On hand to entertain guests at the event were Yoruba and Igbo cultural dancers.