The Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress has adjusted the dates it plans to hold rallies in the South-East region on the schedule of activities for the presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Although no official reason was given, a source in the campaign council told our correspondent that the party earlier did not consider that “Monday is a dreaded period” for anybody to go out in some areas of the South-East.
Sunday PUNCH observed that the ruling party had shifted its campaign in the zone from Monday as a result of the mandatory sit-at-home order imposed by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
The source said, “If you drive out anyhow in the South-East on a Monday, it is at owner’s risk. The South-East is not a place where you can just veer into and gather people in the name of politics.
“So, we have to make that necessary amendment in dates, not necessarily because of possible confrontation, but to make people willing to troop out for the rallies.”
The separatist group introduced the sit-at-home order in August 2021 to protest and demand the release of its supreme leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is still standing trial for treason and terrorism charges.
In the previous timetable, Tinubu’s campaign and zonal stakeholders’ meeting earlier scheduled to hold in Imo State on Monday, November 21, was shifted to Tuesday.
Anambra’s rally slated for Monday, January 30, was also moved to Tuesday according to the adjusted presidential campaign timetable, which was released by the campaign council on Friday night.
When contacted, the Chief Spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, reassured our correspondent that the change in date has nothing to do with Eastern Security Network or IPOB.
“As the ruling party, our plan is to cover the entire country. We should not be seen as giving oxygen to non-state actors,” he stated.
On whether the APC is dodging IPOB by shifting their rallies from the Mondays that were earlier pencilled down, Keyamo disclosed that the allegation was far from the truth.
The Minister of State for Labour maintained that the timetable was a working draft and not cast in gold.
He said, “That is not true. We are not running away from anybody or group. As I earlier told you, the timetable is just a working document that can be amended any time.”
In a related development, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, is equally not willing to schedule the party’s rallies for Monday in the South-East, despite being his stronghold.
This is part of our renewed warning signal to the federal government that they should forget 2023 elections in the southeast if they continue to detain Nnamdi Kanu”, the protesters said.
Reacting to this development, the spokesperson for the Ohanaeze, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in a Saturday interview with Sunday PUNCH warned the aggrieved secessionist not to build for themselves a ‘Frankenstein’ that may come to consume them.
“Our position on this matter has been very constant on this matter. Nothing is ever solved with violence. In the first place, the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, has already teamed up with other Igbo elders to engage the president and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, to seek Nnamdi Kanu’s release. That engagement is in process and we are very confident of that. We want to believe that the president will understand the viewpoints of the Igbo elders and do the needful. I want to also believe that this effort will be successful,” he said.