Secondus Favoured to Head New Atiku Presidential Campaign Council

There are strong indications that the PDP is working towards creating the 2019 Presidential Campaign Council to be headed by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

The council will complement the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation headed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Some of the positions, which are considered sensitive, had yet to be filled before Atiku travelled out of Nigeria.

However, before leaving, the party was said to have secured his approval before releasing some names, which included that of Saraki.

Apart from Saraki,  those whose names were mentioned included those of the Governor of Sokoto State,  Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as zonal coordinator for North-West;  Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo , zonal coordinator, North-East; Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, zonal coordinator, North-Central; Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike as zonal coordinator, South-South while a former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose,  was named as the zonal coordinator for the South-West.

Others whose names listed included the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, zonal coordinator, South-East; a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), as the Chairman, Legal Matters, and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, as the Chairman, Fund Raising Committee.

Since the publication of the names, it was gathered that individuals had been mounting pressure on the leadership of the party to get appointed into positions said to be strategic in the campaign team.

On Thursday, our correspondent gathered that some names were being brandished as new appointees into the campaign council.

These positions included those of the spokesperson for the campaign, directors of contact and mobilisation, finance, strategy and others.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the party had yet to name other members of the Presidential Campaign Council.

He described the list as phoney, and asked the members of the party to ignore it.

He said, “The attention of the PDP was drawn to a phoney post circulating in the social media and purporting that the PDP has released further names to make up its 2019 Presidential Campaign Council.

“The fabricators of the post even went further to allocate offices to certain individuals, claiming the same to be officially assigned by the leadership of our great party.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP has not released any further names other than those earlier released as members of the Presidential Campaign Council.

“Currently, the only names and offices assigned and released by the party are those of the Director-General and Zonal Coordinators of the 2019 Presidential campaign.”

He cautioned that any other names being bandied around and purported to have emanated from the party should be discountenanced accordingly.

“The party, therefore, urges all members to remain calm and await further announcement by the National Working Committee on the composition of the Campaign Council in due course,” he added.

Our correspondent, however, gathered that Secondus would head the Presidential Campaign Council.

A source close to the party told our correspondent that the party and Atiku were trying to avoid the mistake made by the campaign organisation of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, which insulated the party in his campaigns.

The source said, “Atiku is a core party man. He knows the implications of running an individual campaign.”

“Being a team player, he wants to carry the party along in whatever he does.  In fact, the party will drive the campaign. Because of this, all the members of the National Working Committee of the party led by Secondus will play major roles in the campaign.”

The Punch


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