From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The representatives of about 500 pro-Osinbajo support groups across the country have stormed Abuja to articulate workable strategies that will give Vice President Yemi Osinbajo edge during the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primaries ahead of the 2023 elections.
The umbrella body for all the pro-Osinbajo Support groups, The Progressive Project (TPP) hosted the groups in Abuja on Wednesday.
TPP revealed that the representatives of the 500 groups comprise of former, serving and prospective candidates for councillorship, chairmanship, state and federal legislative positions, along with few former and serving state commissioners.
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They added that they exchanged views on how to achieve effective grassroots impact by selling the good qualities of Vice President Osinbajo as being of greater significance than offer of monetary gifts.
Head of TPP’s Situation Room, Jeffry Omoh, who addressed representatives of the support group drawn from the six geopolitical zones, emphasized that their strategy shall centre on ‘mobilization of delegates’ patriotism, not mobilization of finance.
He also urged attendees to ‘go home, study their environment more, improve their interactions with people and return with suggestions, ideas that TPP and its constituent teams can work with’.
“We thank all members of the approximately 500 support groups who are already identifying with us, with firm commitment towards mobilising Nigeria towards achieving an Osinbajo Presidency in 2023,” he said.
One of the speakers at the event, Dr. Mustapha Jibril who is Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry in Niger state, noted that the loyalty demonstrated to President Muhammadu Buhari, disciplined focus and other good qualities of Prof Osinbajo drew attendees from various parts of the federation to pursue a common cause.
Speaking, in a similar vein, at the first interactive meeting of the pro-Osinbajo groups, Ibrahim Mohammed, from Kano stated that his family members have lived in Ibadan, Oyo state over the past 150 years, adding that 2023 elections is not only really going to be about zoning but also about the prospects of unity, sustainable progress and development across all parts of the federation.
“Our efforts here and the motivation for supporting Osinbajo is not about whether political power goes north or south; it is about consolidating on what has been achieved in the past towards throttling into a better future for all under a trustworthy and very capable leadership that would not need to offer huge bribes to party delegates before its emergence,” he stated.
Similarly, Precious Elekia, who led the Cross River State Coalition for Osinbajo 2003 group, asserted: “It is time to vote for Nigeria and not a time to vote for Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba. Prof Osinbajo is a viable and sellable candidate that appeals to all dimensions of national interest.”
Among recommendations proffered by the representatives of the various pro-Osinbajo support groups include implementation of mobilization efforts across various wards in 774 Local Government Areas, focus on reaching prospective delegates to APC national convention and creation of state coordination teams across the federation.
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