The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has travelled to the United Kingdom for a meeting earlier scheduled for last week.
Insiders within the camp of the former Lagos State Governor disclosed that Mr Tinubu will meet with an unnamed group in the UK and he is expected back into the country before the official flag-off of the presidential campaign.
Campaigns for the 2023 national elections will officially kick off on 28 September ahead while that of governorship and state houses of assembly will commence on 12 October, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to some feelers, the controversies that trailed the composition of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) led to its postponement and could have prompted the trip to London.
The sudden trip has also fuelled speculations of another medical trip or meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and members of his group, some of who are already in the UK.
Last month, Mr Tinubu had a covert meeting with the aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party led by Mr Wike and some other governors.
“Yes the consultation with Wike and others is still ongoing, but this is not about that. A group invited him for a meeting. For now, I cannot disclose the identity of the group,” a source said.
The PCC list generated controversy among the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) headed by Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State. The governors nominated five persons each to be in the campaign council.
However, some of the governors were left fuming when the 422-member list was released by the secretary of the campaign council, James Faleke, a federal lawmaker from Lagos State. Their nominees were not properly captured in the list.
According to a top source in the party, the Director-General of the APC PCC, Simon Lalong and Mr Faleke compiled the list which either excluded the nominees of the governors or wrongfully designated them.
The source familiar with the matter added that a comprehensive list is being generated by Messrs Bagudu and Faleke.
“The position of the governors unsettled Mr Tinubu. The governors were very angry. The governor has a Whatsapp group. They dropped five names of people who will represent their respective states in the campaign council. These names were passed to Messrs Lalong and Faleke (but) unfortunately, a lot happened along the way.
“The resolution is that a new list will be released in the next couple of days. Those nominees of governors will assume their intended designations at the directorate level. There are the heads of directorates and members of directorates. Tinubu could not leave until yesterday morning as he had to resolve the matter,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the PCC, via its spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement, said all members of the directorate are to report at the secretariat of the council on Wednesday for a special prayer to commence the flag-off of the campaign and participate in a peace walk.
Controversies had trailed the release of the party’s campaign council list on Saturday. There were speculations that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declined membership of the committee due to his opposition to APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
However, the spokesperson of the PCC, Festus Keyamo, in a statement, said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the exclusion of Mr Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to enable them to concentrate on governance.