…Says Nnamani’s Inclusion Not Mistake
More confusion has trailed the All Progressives Congress’ inclusion of a Senator of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its Presidential Campaign Council.
The ruling party had included Senator Chimaroke Nnamani’s name among the list of 422-member presidential campaign council unveiled by the party on Friday.
Nnamani, a two-time former governor of Enugu State, won the 2019 election on the PDP platform to represent the Enugu East Senatorial District.
While the APC had earlier claimed that his inclusion in the Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidential campaign council was done in error, a spokesman for the campaign, Festus Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has suggested the move was deliberate.
Keyamo, during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics late Sunday, said the ruling APC has not violated provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act by adding the PDP chieftain’s name to the campaign council.
“What are the errors?” Keyamo retorted when asked if Nnamani’s name was added in error. “Well, all I can tell you now is that there has been no rebuttal on the part of Senator Nnamani. The rebuttal should come from that end (and), not from us.”
He said, “Campaigning for a political party on which platform you wish to contest an office is a choice. It is not a legal problem. It’s a matter of the internal rules of that political party. So, we will leave that political party to deal with it according to its internal rules.
“But I can tell you as a lawyer I just look at the constitution and the Electoral Act, that’s all I look at. There’s no provision in the Electoral Act or Constitution that says you have to campaign for the presidential candidate of your party at all costs. Don’t forget that there’s fundamental human right in our constitution, you know, to freely associate with whoever you want to associate with.
“So, if you associate with a party, you don’t believe in its candidates and you want to campaign for the candidate of another party in respect of a particular party, I think that is an issue that that other party should deal with. We will not deal with that. His name appeared on our list, up till now there’s no rebuttal from the other side.”
THE WHISTLER reported that Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media of the Tinubu Campaign, had earlier clarified that Nnamani was mistakenly included in the APC team.
But in a subsequent statement on Monday, Onanuga retracted his statement, saying Nnamani will support Tinubu’s presidential bid on “moral” grounds.
“The PCC will also want to clarify that the appearance of the name of HE Chimaroke Nnamani, a distinguished senator from Enugu State, was not a mistake,” he said.
“He is on the list in his own right as a supporter of our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“He may not be on the field with us as a PDP senatorial candidate in Enugu East, but his presence is indicative that he may have chosen to give ‘moral support’ to his old-time friend and brother.
“In any case, the PCC cannot dictate the extent of Senator Nnamani’s support for his friend and brother.
“That is part of his fundamental human right which supersedes any provision in a Party Constitution. His position and allegiance to his party is self-defining and does not need any qualification by us.
“Any explanation as to his status should be coming from the other party and not from us who are very proud to be associated with him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nnanmi shared a cryptic tweet on Sunday evening suggesting that he may be preparing to dump the PDP to work for Tinubu’s presidential bid.
“I am truly humbled by all the attention and concern about my political trajectory. I must confess to somewhat enjoying my ” Andy Warhol moment de gloire ” Certainly, I now believe as e dey pain them! E dey sweet me!” he tweeted.