Social media was inundated this weekend with a poster by a group featuring Minister of Works and Housing Fashola and Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Zulum, respectively presidential and vice-nominated candidates -presidency of an unnamed political party.
Marked by the "Nigeria Project 2023" and signed by a certain Abayomi Mademaku as leader, the group announced that it would launch the campaign on October 2.
But in a statement by his media aide, Hakeem Bello, titled "Elections of 2023: Fashola walks away from the antics of unsolicited support groups," the former governor said the group had neither contacted him nor 'had his consent to issue the invitation.
The statement read in part: “The media office of the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, urged well-meaning people to ignore the invitation from certain groups, operating under the Nigeria 2023 project, allegedly to inaugurate a support group for the Minister and the Governor of Borno. Status of the 2023 elections.
“Ordinarily, the poster and the various social media reports orchestrated almost instantly on his account would have been ignored as the manual work of criminals. However, it has become necessary to publish this disclaimer for two main reasons.
“The first was to respond with a strong negative to the many inquiries from well-meaning and well-meaning Nigerians on whether the Honorable Minister had been contacted or whether the Groups had his consent to issue the invitation.
“Unequivocally, no individual or group has contacted the Honorable Minister for or on behalf of Nigeria Project 2023. As the Honorable Minister, Mr. Fashola is currently focused on leading his dedicated team at the Ministry of Works and Housing to fulfill President Muhammadu Buhari's mandate for an expanded and improved road transport infrastructure; and affordable housing nationwide to ensure economic growth and prosperity for citizens.
“Second, is the fact that entities unknown to a political party cannot present candidates on behalf of such a political party. As a prominent and staunch member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the individual and groups cited as promoters of Nigeria Project 2023 are unknown to the APC and the Honorable Minister.
“In the context of the above, the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN urges members of the public to beware of the antics of unsolicited individuals and support groups whose real intentions remain questionable. All possible support should be given to the efforts of the current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a better nation for all. "
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