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Fashola described those behind the campaign as mischief-makers and ‘unsolicited support groups.’
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communication Hakeem Bello, he asked members of the public to disregard the political group.
The social media was awash at the weekend with posters from the group allegedly presenting the minister and the Governor of Borno State Babagana Zulum as presidential and vice-presidential candidates, respectively, of an unnamed political party.
The group shared the poster under the platform ‘The Nigeria Project 2023.’
However, Fashola disclosed that no such group approached him to kick-start a campaign on his behalf.
The ICIR also sighted the campaign poster with Nigeria’s coat of arms at the top left corner and the ‘Nigeria Project 2023’ at the right. Fashola’s photograph took prominence on the posters, seconded by Zulum.
“A new Nigeria and prosperous Nigeria is possible. Join us as we inaugurate the support group,” the group said.
The set date for the launch was October 2 at 1pm. One of those who saw the post said that about seven of her friends had already sent similar posters.
“Ordinarily, the poster and the various social media reports almost instantly orchestrated on its account would have been ignored as the handiwork of mischief-makers. However, it became necessary to issue this disclaimer for two key reasons,” Bello said.
“The first of such was to answer with a strong negative to the numerous inquiries from right thinking and well-meaning Nigerians on whether the minister had been contacted or if the Groups had his consent in issuing the invitation,” he stated in his reaction.
“Without equivocation, no individual or group has contacted the Minister for or on behalf of The Nigeria Project 2023. As Minister, Fashola is currently focused on leading his dedicated Team in the Ministry of Works and Housing to deliver on the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari for an expanded and upgraded road transport infrastructure; and affordable Housing nationwide in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity for the citizenry.
“Secondly, is the fact that entities unknown to a political party cannot present candidates on behalf of such a political party. As a ranking and loyal member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the individual and groups cited as promoters of The Nigeria Project 2023 are unknown to the APC and the Minister.
“Against the backdrop of the foregoing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN urges members of the public to be wary of the antics of unsolicited individuals and Support Groups whose real intentions remain questionable. Every support possible should be given to the efforts of the current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver a better nation for all.”
The contest towards the 2023 election is gradually gathering momentum.
Members of opposition political parties are already decamping from one party to the other, especially from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Latest in the wave of defection is the former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani Kayode, who moved to the ruling party from PDP.