Following weeks of anxiety and serial postponements, the presidential campaign council list of the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was released with several notable names of party chieftains missing.
The 422-man list has names of political heavyweights including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors as well as serving and past public office holders.
In the latest list released by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja on Friday night, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, retained his position as Director-General just as Deputy Director-General (Operations), Adams Oshiomhole, and Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
However, there are shocking omission of party stalwarts, many of whom have been at loggerheads or engaged in cold war with Tinubu over his preference for the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
They include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and one of Tinubu’s sweat merchant, Adebayo Shittu, who heads one of his biggest support groups — Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance.
While the camp of Osinbajo had distanced itself from the former Lagos governor after his emergence as winner of the APC presidential ticket, the duo of Dogara and Lawal had remained a perennial thorn in Tinubu’s flesh for selecting ex-Borno Governor Senator Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim, as running mate.
Dogara had predicted on Tuesday that the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim ticket was a fruitless political effort that was “doomed to end in spectacular failure.”
The ex-speaker made the statement while delivering his keynote address at a summit tagged ‘Meet The Church,’ organised by the Nigeria National Christian Coalition.
Lawal, on the other hand, vowed that the introduction of a same-faith ticket by the APC was a deliberate plan to further create divisions in the north.