The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are yet to unveil a manifesto 20 days to the official commencement of campaigns by political parties for the 2023 general elections.
A manifesto is a policy document in which a political party chronicles its plans, aims and the cardinal principles of its campaign and how those plans would be implemented if voted into power.
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It is made public to guide the masses on the agenda of a political party for the country and what should be expected while they are in power, thus giving a direction to the electorate.
Tinubu had barely two weeks after his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate, disowned a document prepared by some of his associates as his manifesto which went viral.
The Director, Media and Communication, Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement, said, “Asiwaju Tinubu, in consultation with the party, experts in various fields and a broad section of the populace, through an empirical and evidence-based approach, is working on an all-embracing manifesto that will be presented to Nigerians when it is ready, before the official campaign begins in September.”
In the 2015 and 2019 general elections, the APC manifesto and campaigns centred on security, corruption and the economy. For the 2023 polls, Nigerians are anxious to know what the party has to offer differently or in addition to the existing trajectory.
An official in the Tinubu Campaign Organisation told our correspondent yesterday that Tinubu would unveil the manifesto soon.
Also, key members of the party who spoke with our correspondent, said the party would again peg its campaign on the economy, corruption and security.
A chieftain of the party and Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, who spoke with Daily Trust yesterday, said, “Whatever manifesto our presidential candidate is going to have, it is going to be an offshoot of the manifesto of the APC. I don’t think we are going to have a different manifesto from the manifesto of the party.”
Similarly, a member of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said, “You and I know that the major problems of this country are insecurity, corruption and the economy. So I don’t think there would be any major changes from the 2015 and 2019 campaign principles of APC.”
But the APC National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Felix Morka, neither answered his phone call nor responded to an SMS sent to him.
Meanwhile, Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, yesterday met with the National Working Committee (NWC) at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja where they discussed critical issues regarding the 2023 campaign.
Speaking during the opening session of their meeting, Tinubu denied any rift with the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, adding that the essence of the meeting was to deliberate on the formation of the party’s presidential campaign council.
Tinubu, who came to the APC national headquarters for the first time since his emergence as its candidate in June, said, “What we came here today (yesterday) to do is to discuss the campaign, which is a few days away.”
Speaking with newsmen after the closed-door meeting, Tinubu said he and the APC were not threatened, adding that “We are not spewing fake statistics and wrong figures. We are what we are, a progressive party.”
The APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, said, “We had some briefs from the presidential candidate. These briefs are very useful and important.”
The Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong; Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi; and James Faleke were among those in Tinubu’s entourage.