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APC PCC defends Yahaya Bello’s absence from rallies

The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has defended the absence of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, from rallies and town hall meetings of its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Bello was appointed as the National Youth Coordinator of the PCC by Tinubu on September 18.

The appointment, which was officially conveyed in a letter that carried the signature of the APC candidate, stated that the governor was chosen because of his impressive political achievements and exemplary leadership.

Tinubu also expressed strong conviction that Bello would conduct an effective, message-driven campaign that could lead them to victory in the 2023 presidential election.

But three months after he was appointed, the youngest governor in the country has failed to turn up in any of Tinubu’s rallies and town hall meetings.

This has forced critics and some aggrieved loyalists of the presidential candidate to conclude that the governor may prove to be a bad apple in the cart if his lukewarm attitude to Tinubu’s campaign is anything to go.

“We understand that he was appointed as national youth coordinator to help galvanise support for Tinubu in Kogi and other states in the North-Central region. But what we have been seeing from him so far is unimpressive.

“He only goes about calling himself ‘White Lion’ but not participating in all the rallies. Even that young Seyi Tinubu has done more than him in terms of youth mobilisation in the last two months. He has not justified his inclusion in the PCC at all,” an APC member told our reporter.

When asked for reaction, chief spokesman for the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo, dismissed the report, saying that it was obvious many people did not understand the effort Bello had put into the campaign.

According to him, the governor’s absence from most of the rallies did not connote apathy.

He said, “I spoke with Yahaya Bello yesterday and I can say he is one of the best strategic planners we have. With what he has set now, by the time he explodes, Nigerians will know.

“You know he heads a very strategic department and he is more than ready for the campaign 100 per cent.”

The Director of Media and Publicity for the Tinubu-Shettima PCC, Bayo Onanuga, also threw his weight behind Bello.

Onanuga admonished the media to desist from making a mountain out of a mole hill, adding that the Kogi governor was due to make an appearance at the APC youth rally in Abuja on Saturday.

“You journalists are always looking for negatives. It is not true. Why don’t you wait for the youth rally to know if he will be there? That should also clear any doubt about his commitment to Asiwaju’s mobilisation campaign.

“Bello is the leader of the youths, hence I will implore you to wait for their planned rally in Abuja. People should understand this campaign is driven by so many forces. Yahaya Bello being the head does not mean that you will see him everywhere. That is not the way it ought to be run.

“Tinubu was spotted in Kaduna some days ago, he was seen again in Niger State yesterday. Yet there are people doing campaign for him in many other parts of the country simultaneously. He doesn’t have to be in all of them.

“The youths are being mobilised from all parts of the country. Bello doesn’t also need to be seen physically in many of rallies being organised for youths. You journalists should fathom this before rushing to conclude that someone is not committed to a cause or showing apathy.”

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