Eleven hours after including Aliko Dangote’s name on a list of members of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, the presidency is subtly backtracking in a fresh statement. However if the purpose of the new statement is to shed light on the nature of the businessman’s involvement in the APC campaign, it did not succeed.
The Presidency statement: Signed by Femi Adesina, who also released the previous statement, here is what the presidency said:
“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.”
Do you understand? Nope.
The statement restates the point that Dangote is a member of the special Advisory Committee to the president. The committee was included in the statement announcing the APC’s campaign council, so it is definitely a political committee. The other members of the committee (with the exception of Femi Otedola, another businessman) are politically active APC members. Yet, Adesina says Dangote is not in the “partisan campaign council.” It does not really make sense.
So here is what the presidency should do: It should issue another statement explaining the terms of reference of this advisory committee. Let Nigerians know what sort of advise the committee is expected to give the president and where such advise fits in the context of the Presidential Campaign Council since it was included in that list.
Or better still, Dangote should release a statement himself properly clarifying the issue and not leave it to Femi Adesina who is not exactly noted for the clarity of his thoughts.
Otherwise, it may just be wise for the two parties to own up to it, for Dangote to remain in the committee and resign as a member of the National Peace Committee, as we were saying earlier.