Hours after naming Africa’s richest man on the ‘special advisory committee’ to President Muhammadu for his re-election, the presidency has clarified that the businessman is not actually a member of the campaign team.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Dangote was named among seven members of the advisory committee in a list provided by Mr Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina.
Another businessman, Femi Otedola, was also on the list; while the other five were politicians.
The other five are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; APC national leader; Bola Tinubu; Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan; House of Representatives Leader Femi Gbajabiamila; and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The advisory committee was one of the committees listed in the APC ‘Presidential Campaign Council.’
The naming of the two businessmen was condemned by many Nigerians including the main opposition party, PDP.
In another statement on Friday night, however, Mr Adesina explained the status of Mr Dangote.
“It has become imperative to further clarify the status of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, named under the sub-head ADVISORY MEMBERS in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council announced on Friday, December 28, 2018.
“Africa’s richest man, not being a card-carrying member of APC, cannot, and is not member of the PCC. He is also a member of the Peace Committee, and thus cannot be in a partisan campaign council,” Mr Adesina said.
The spokesperson did not explain why the advisory committee was listed as part of the PCC or whether his exemption of Mr Dangote also applies to the other six members of the advisory committee.
In its reaction to the naming of Messrs Dangote and Otedola, the campaign organisation of the PDP said it was an improper action by the president.
“He (Buhari) is simply out to blackmail them because by the time they fund his campaign, he will turn around and call them corrupt businessmen.,” a spokesperson for the PDP campaign, Kassim Afegbua, was quoted as saying by Vanguard Newspaper.
Mr Afegbua said both men should have been named in the economic team and not the campaign council.
“These people are businessmen, not politicians. These are the kind of people Nigerians expect to see in the economic management team because of what they have done for this country.”
Many other Nigerians have been reacting to the naming of Messrs Dangote and Otedola in the advisory committee.
A Twitter user, @chosensomto, said: “I’ll wait for Dangote and Femi Otedola to accept the appointment into Buhari’s Campaign before i comment. Reasons;
1. People rejected Buhari’s appointment in the past for different reasons; one of which was appointing people without consent.
3. He has appointed dead people before“.
The convener of #EndSARS @Segalink while reacting said: “Nigeria is a funny country. It is okay for Femi Otedola and Alhaji Aliko Dangote to be on GMB’s campaign organisation in the bid to ensure he Cements his reign upon the ruin of the Nation but All Hell will break loose if @segalink supports Atiku, Sowore or FELA Durotoye?! 🤔
What they are doing with Femi Otedola and Dangote now was what they Punished the MD of SkyBank for. His only crime was funding the election of an admin they loathe. Hypocrisy and identity politics of hate will implode this cult. Mark my words. #NeverAgain”
Nigeria is a funny country. It is okay for Femi Otedola and Alhaji Aliko Dangote to be on GMB’s campaign organisation in the bid to ensure he Cements his reign upon the ruin of the Nation but All Hell will break loose if @segalink supports Atiku, Sowore or FELA Durotoye?! 🤔
— SEGA L'éveilleur®🚨 (@segalink) December 28, 2018
Another user who reacted with handle @SmithVinci said the inclusion of Mr. Dangote and Mr. Otedola will make sending Mr Buhari to Daura, his hometown easier in 2019.
“I think it’s a good thing that Buhari has Dangote and Otedola on his campaign team.
“It will make sending him back to Daura a bit easier.
Olawoyin Eedris, a social media influencer who tweets with the handle @Olawoyin4u, said the businessmen will be used by APC to spend huge funds in the election.
“With that list now, if APC spends Trillions of Dollars on 2019 General Elections, they will tell you the money is from Dangote and Otedola. #AnotherScam”
Also, @Naijadailyfeeds said: “Buhari is doing so much to get rich people on his team so he can have more financial support for his election campaign. Quick puzzle, if buhari did so well from 2015 to date, would he need people like Dangote, otedola on his side? or would he be giving out 10k to bribe traders?”
However, @Yaqlumb said: “Dangote and Otedola on released APC list shows the real investors know the party that is getting it right.They know Atiku as past VP and Investor. So also Obi Mr container economy. Atiku/Obi is a confirmed bad market. @APCUKingdom @apcyouthomoodua @ynabena @OfficialAPCNg
Dangote and Otedola on released APC list shows the real investors know the party that is getting it right.They know Atiku as past VP and Investor. So also Obi Mr container economy. Atiku/Obi is a confirmed bad market. @APCUKingdom @apcyouthomoodua @ynabena @OfficialAPCNg
— Yaplumb- Laycon Da Icon (@Yaplumb1) December 28, 2018
Also, @aibinuola wrote: “Hmm #Dangote and #Otedola have never openly declared their support for any political party in #Nigeria. What changed? They both realised that #Buhari is different and means well for #Nigerians. Good move.”
Hmm #Dangote and #Otedola have never openly declared their support for any political party in #Nigeria. What changed?
They both realised that #Buhari is different and means well for #Nigerians .
— Aibinuola (@1Vitalsplash) December 28, 2018
The two businessmen are yet to speak publicly on the appointment. The presidential election holds on February 16, 2019.