By Sunday Elijah
Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, northcentral Nigeria, as director-general of its presidential campaign in the 2023 general elections.
National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, announced this on Thursday, while briefing journalists after he led the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima to see President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Chairman also announced that Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, will serve as interim spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council.
He said the choice of Mr Lalong as the campaign director general, was based on the appointee’s ability to deliver.
Reacting over The APC is facing backlash over the controversial Muslim/Muslim ticket the party is pursuing, Mr. Adamu said the party is aware of the concerns expressed, stating that the party will explore means of addressing the issue.
“The party has taken a very careful deep look at the Nigerian situation and the political space and we believe very strongly that notwithstanding the expression that we’re hearing, we will be working on amicable solutions to the sentiment and we’re very sure by the grace of God we will put them to rest before the elections,” he said.
APC Northern Christian Leaders have been very vocal against the same faith ticket.
The choice of Mr Lalong, a Christian from the North-central, is perhaps a move to appease those against the same faith ticket.
Speaking on his choice as the DG of the campaign, Mr Lalong said he was picked based on his capacity and his position as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum.
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“I’m not a Christian candidate. I was not nominated as a Christian candidate. The party said I’ve been nominated because of my ability. I’ve been a very loyal member of the party. I joined APC because I believe in APC.
“Second, I’m not only the Governor of Plateau, I’m chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum. So I am able to carry out leadership in any capacity. I only want to express to you that I am surprised that I’m being announced now. I am sure we’ll not disappoint you,” he said.