Campaign posters of the Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for President have flooded Abuja streets. The posters also had the face of Mallam Nasir Elrufai, the Governor of Kaduna State as the running mate and Vice Presidential candidate.
One of the posters was titled “the People’s choice” while another had the message “Today may not be the best, but tomorrow will be better”. All the posters show they are being sponsored by the National Consolidation Movement but they did not have the logo of any political parties.
While speaking with our correspondent who went to town to interview a cross section of Nigerians on the emergence of the posters, Dr. Doyin Anifowose who is a political scientist said the messages on the posters wowed Nigerians by tactically attempting to isolate both men on the posters from the alleged failures of the Buhari government. He wondered why top members of the ruling party would still be talking about a better tomorrow if today is not the best it can be.
Dr. Anifowose also opined that this type of move is typical of high end campaign strategy where a campaign research group could test the acceptability of the candidate especially in the mood the nation is in currently. “The country is in a low mood now with the events following the EndSARS protests and the massive nationwide looting of palliative warehouses. The prices of goods and in particular food items have skyrocketed in the markets hence a campaign organization can truly check the acceptability of their principal. This is the best mood to know what the people truly feel about any aspirant and that the logo of their political not being on it is to be present it as judge me not by my Party” Dr. Anifowose added.
He continued “Not using the political party logo in a campaign test such as this could also help a campaign research group know if the aspirant is popular enough to even leave the party and contest the election on another political party platform as I believe their field officers would be on the streets sampling opinions of the people and on issues concerning the aspirant.”
At the APC National Secretariat, many of the staff refused to speak to record but a few of those who spoke off camera believe the pasting of posters at this time for whatever political purpose was clearly an act of desperation, a violation of the nation’s electoral laws and capable of distracting President Muhammadu Buhari from tackling the challenges facing the country. The posters at this time is capable of igniting more political tension at a time the government is struggling to calm tension and solve pressing needs.
Both Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and Mallam Elrufai are members of the ruling APC. Since the return of the country to democracy in 1999, Hon. Amaechi is one of the very few Nigerians who has not been out of political and public office. He was a member and Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007 after which he was sworn in as Governor of the State following his victory at the Supreme Court which declared him as the rightful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and there removed Chief Celestine Omehia from office.
In 2014 he joined the All Progressives Congress with four other governors of the PDP and was appointed Minister of Transportation in 2015 following the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the polls. He was reappointed to the same position for a second term by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In both the 2015 and 2019 elections, Hon. Amechi served as the Director General of the President’s campaign and is said to be one of the Ministers who is extremely close to the President and has direct access to him.
During the battle to remove Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from office as APC National Chairman, many political watchers believed that Chibuike Amechi had a hand in it as Mr. Victor Giadom the arrow head in the fight and former assistant Secretary General of the PArty who obtained the Court order to be Acting National Chairman summoned the NEC meeting were the National Working Committee of the Party was sacked is a loyalist of the Hon. Minister. Also the Minister presided, as the leader of the Party in the South South, over a meeting held in Edo State were leaders of the Party from the South South resolved that Oshiomhole was sacked from the Party and would not b their Chairman.
Rt. Hon Chibuike Amechi is obviously one of the frontline aspirants for the country’s top job though he has not publicly declared his interest for the job. Having Mallam Elrufai on the ticket makes it all the more formidable as the diminutive Kaduna Governor is massively popular in the North and also wields a lot of influence in the Party and in the Presidential Villa.