The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, on Monday said despite the criticisms that trailed his distribution of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election campaign caps at the last meeting of the Federal Executive Council, he has no regrets for his action.
He also faulted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that sensationalism has been the elder statesman’s “stock in trade for the past 30 years.”
The Punch quoted Shittu as saying he was not guilty of breaking any law.
He said all he did was a pronouncement of an intention.
“It is true that the constitution and the electoral law talk of campaigns starting 90 days before elections, but there is no law stopping announcing intentions. There is a difference between campaigns and intentions,” he said.
Shittu said the event he organised in Ibadan, Oyo State, was not a campaign event but the opening of the South West Zonal Office of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group.
The minister explained, “This organisation has been in existence for more than six years.
“So, if it did not have a presence in the South West, and now because they appointed me as chairman of the Board of Trustees and I feel that as a serious-minded person, we need to have a presence in the South West in preparation for the campaigns, I don’t see what is wrong with that.
“What is more important is that it also afforded us an opportunity to inaugurate a booklet titled, ‘A compilation of the achievements of the Buhari administration,’ so that Nigerians will have verifiable facts in hard copies in their hands.
“So, I plead not guilty to the issue of starting campaign before time. The best thing we could say is that it has been a pronouncement of an intention.
“The man himself has not declared, but we are saying we will persuade him to declare his intention at the appropriate time and we are going to support him.”
The minister also faulted a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo calling on Buhari not to seek re-election.
He accused Obasanjo of “engaging in sensationalism,” which he said has been the ex-President’s “stock in trade for the past 30 years.”