In what appears to be an emerging battle for the control of Lagos State, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has set up a separate campaign group to secure at least 4.5 million votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 in the state.
Although the campaign group christened ‘PMB 2019,’ was set up to canvass support for Buhari’s re-election, competent sources disclosed that the group with vast support base statewide was designed to be a formidable political group after the 2019 election.
According to the sources, the group is a grand political platform with an ambitious post-2019 plan, though its main thrust is to campaign for Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the next presidential election scheduled to hold on February 16.
With its concealed post-2019 plan, one of the sources disclosed that the constitution of the group violated an understanding of all political leaders that all groups in the All Progressives Congress (APC) should be collapsed into the Mandate Movement, a political group loyal to the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The source said the group would definitely become a formidable platform in the state after the 2019 general election considering its vast support base across all the local government areas and local council development areas.
Apart from appointing former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole, as its Director-General in the state, the source said leaders of the group “have been appointed in 20 LGAs, 37 LCDAs and 347 wards across the state with a mandate to build formidable political support base in their respective areas of control.”
In telephone conversation yesterday, Danmole confirmed the establishment of the PMB Support Group, which according to him, was designed to create a new system of presidential campaign in the state.
He said the campaign group, which is founded by Fashola, “is not about going about and dancing. We have raised about 5,000 foot soldiers for Buhari/Osinbajo re-election campaign. The foot soldiers will from house to house campaign for Buhari.
“We are inaugurating first layer today. In December, we will add more foot soldiers. In January, we will add more foot soldiers. Our approach is to talk to people to vote instead of going about dancing. It is the inauguration of 5,000 foot soldiers to campaign for Buhari- Osinbajo in South-west.
“These people are from 347 wards, 20 local government areas and 37 local council development area in Lagos State. We have 15 in each LGA and LCDA. That gives us 885 foot soldiers. Then, we have Hausa, Igbo and non-indigenes communities, who formed the remaining part of the group,” Danmole said.
He noted that the APC Campaign Council would conduct their own campaign, claiming that Fashola’s group “is to complement whatever the APC Campaign Council will do. The purpose is to bring more votes for Buhari in 2019. We are targeting between 4.5 million and five million votes for Buhari
out of 6.2 million registered voters.