Exactly 30 days after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifted ban on campaign for the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, there seems to be confusion in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which is yet to constitute its campaign team.
Some state chapters of the party have, however, commenced campaign after waiting on the national body for almost a month.
Some of the states include; Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, and Kano chapters, among others.
A cross-section of party members who spoke to Blueprint on condition of anonymity, expressed worry that the modalities for the ruling party’s campaign were not known, barely 60 days to the presidential elections.
They also expressed concerns that the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had already taken its campaign to three zones of the federation, while the governing APC is yet to constitute its campaign team.
“Since INEC lifted the ban on campaign, our party has not really done anything substantial in terms of kick-starting our own campaign activities. Apart from unveiling of the manifestoes of our presidential candidate, the campaign council has not been inaugurated.
“And this explains why the state chapters too have not hit the ground running. The PDP is moving on, and we do appear as if the electorate have no choice than to vote us. No matter what the strategies are, it is essential that we have our campaign council in place for proper electioneering. Time is not on our side either. Let us not take things for granted. Yes, we have a president and candidate with impeccable character, but we still need to do the needful because the contest at the state level is going to be tough,” added a source.
But other party sources situated the seeming delay within the context of the contentious outcome of primary elections.
One of the sources said: “Some of our members are worried, especially in the states. They are losing patience, but some of us believe that the peace and reconciliation committee constituted by the party should be allowed to conclude their work so as to create the right atmosphere before our national campaigns can commence.
“We are still having unresolved issues among some leaders of the party, especially with the aggrieved governors and their loyalists who have not withdrawn their court cases against the national leadership of the APC. The reconciliation committee is making efforts to mend fences and hopefully, they will soon conclude their assignment.”
But speaking on the development, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, assured that APC is keeping to its own campaign strategy.
When asked during an interactive session with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja, Nabena said: “Everybody comes with a different strategy. You are a boxer and go into the ring, waiting for your opponent; you started fighting even when your opponent is not there. The PDP has started fighting even when they have not seen anybody to fight.
“They (PDP) have gone to three places to campaign and suddenly stopped when they realised that they have not seen their opponent. So, they don’t know from where the APC is coming. Don’t worry about the campaign because we have our own plans. You have to put them in suspense so that they will be thinking for you and that is what they are doing.”