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ADP chieftain, Doyin Okupe, becomes Saraki’s campaign spokesman

TWO-TIME presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, has been named as the head of the media department of Bukola Saraki’s presidential campaign, despite being a member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

This was announced on Tuesday by the Director-General of the Saraki campaign organisation, who added that Okupe’s major responsibility would be to “work with other top professionals in the team to effectively communicate the campaign messages of Dr. Saraki to the people of Nigeria and the international community”.

Okupe was spokesman to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. He was also the National Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the third republic.

In a statement announcing his departure from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2017, Okupe said the party has been embroiled in a “fratricidal internal crisis brought upon it by itself”. He later announced that he was joining the AD.

“I want to belong to a political party that will be able to publicly state its position on troubling national issues… Any political party that does not have an openly stated position or stand on these issues is a mere association of elites coming together only to feather their own nests or at best a deceptive political contraption put together by a few to seize power for a few and for the benefit of a few,” Okupe wrote.

It is unclear whether Okupe has rejoined the PDP to qualify him to work for one of the party’s frontline presidential candidates.

However, it could be that Okupe is working with Saraki on the strength of the coalition between the PDP and several other political parties, including the AD, which gave birth to the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). But the AD later said it was not part of any coalition with any political party.

“We strongly deny any pact with either the PDP or the R-APC or any other political party and we consider it very preposterous for our party to be associated with the pact,” AD’s National Publicity Secretary, Nola Olayinka, stated at the time.

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