Officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and others are now working round the clock to commence their campaigns ahead of next year’s elections, the first and most crucial being the February 25 presidential polls.
The parties and their presidential flag bearers as well as those seeking election are free to start canvassing for votes publicly from Wednesday, September 25, under the time table rolled out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC which announced a 422-member Presidential Campaign Council late Friday to sell its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will kick start its campaign on the said date with a prayer session in Abuja.Similar prayers will be conducted same day at the campaign offices in all the 36 states of the federation.
The PDP is yet to pick a specific date for the commencement of its own campaign. Party sources told The Nation yesterday that consultations were still in progress to firm up the party’s plan on its campaign.
An impeccable source in the APC Presidential Campaign Council said a special invite for “Prayer and Rally for Tinubu and Shettima” had been sent out to party faithful to converge on the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Office in the Business Central Area of Abuja by 8 am on Wednesday.
“The motive behind the non-denominational and inter-faith prayer session is to commit the whole electioneering process into the hands of the Almighty God. To pray for the success of our flag bearers from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate Senator Kassim Shetimma, our governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly candidates,” the source said.
“The prayer session will be held simultaneously in the 36 states’ capitals. State coordinators are to lead party members and lovers of Tinubu/Shetimma in prayers at the state campaign offices across the country.
“After the prayers, supporters and party members are to embark on a march around the state capital cities and Abuja to drum up support for our candidates in the February 25th presidential and National Assembly and the March 11th governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“We are embarking on the march to symbolically take over the country. We shall walk round and possess the country for Asiwaju. The march is equally spiritual. We are not leaving anything untouched.”
A second source said the council also planned to formally release the manifesto and policy thrust of Tinubu’s presidential campaign.
“Plans are on for our principal to formally present the policy document of his administration. Asiwaju is expected to unveil his manifesto immediately after the march on Wednesday,” the source said.
On the commencement of the campaign proper, our source said: “Although consultations are still going on, the council is proposing to start the nationwide campaign rally on the 10th of October in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.”
Asked what informed the choice of Ilorin, the PCC member said: “Ilorin was strategically picked. Aside from being one of the strongholds of our party, the ancient city is equally central to both north and south.”