Festus Keyamo, the spokesperson of the Bola Tinubu campaign council, says vice president Yemi Osinbajo was left out of the presidential campaign team of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government”.
He said the VP was excluded on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Friday, the APC released a list containing the names of the members of the presidential campaign team.
Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the House of Representatives; Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation; and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former Minister of State for Education.
The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, but he lost the party’s primary election.
His absence from the campaign council further fuelled speculations of rancor in the ruling party.
Addressing the situation, Keyamo said all key government officials cannot abandon their responsibilities and focus on the election campaign.
“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement reads.
“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.
“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.
“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.
“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”