Fashola, Akpabio disown groups promoting ministers’ 2023 campaigns

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has distances himself from political support groups campaigning for him, urging Nigerians to disregard them.

A press statement titled, ‘2023 Elections: Fashola distances self from the antics of unsolicited support groups,’ by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Communications, Hakeem Bello, on Sunday, said this.

The statement reads partly, “The Media Office of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has urged well-meaning people to disregard the invitation of some Groups, operating under The Nigeria Project 2023, purportedly to the inauguration of a Support Group for the Minister and the Governor of Borno State over the 2023 elections.”

It added, “The social media was awash at the weekend with a poster from the Group allegedly presenting the Honorable Minister and the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum as Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates respectively of an unnamed political party.”

According to the statement, no individual or group had contacted the Minister for or on behalf of The Nigeria Project 2023, while adding that the individual and groups cited as promoters of The Nigeria Project 2023 were unknown to the All Progressives Congress and the Minister.

The statement further said that the minister “urges members of the public to be wary of the antics of unsolicited individuals and Support Groups whose real intentions remain questionable.”

Also, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has cautioned individuals and groups campaigning and urging him to contest for any public office in 2023, saying “their activities are capable of causing undue distractions in the polity.”

A statement by Akpabio’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, on Sunday and titled, ‘Calls for political office in 2023,’ reads partly, “The attention of the minister has been drawn to calls by individuals and groups that he contests for any political office in 2023.

“The minister realises that in a democracy, as hard as one may try, you cannot suppress whatever opinions others have of you, whether about leadership or governance.

“The minister already has a mandate and that is steering the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, which is his main preoccupation today and to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his agenda for the people of the Niger Delta Region in particular and Nigeria in general.

“It is very obvious that he is not yet done with that national assignment, to now start something afresh.”

It added, “We totally object to the insinuations that he has any link to the group of volunteers, many of whom he has never met in life. It is also unfair to the minister that, given his experience in politics and governance, he would start a campaign before it becomes legally permissible to do so.”

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