Shortly before the commencement of the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister handed over the bag to the council’s secretariat staff members for distribution.
The minister wore one of the caps, which had the logo of the All Progressives Congress and the inscription “Continuity ‘19: Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo on it.
He confirmed to journalists that the cap was for politics and not for FEC deliberations, adding that they were distributed to all members of the FEC so that they would be samples for other persons who would be interested in doing what he had done.
He said, “I know that everybody will be involved, everybody will be guided and people will take decisions largely to support the President in the 2019 elections.”
While reacting to the action, the YCE secretary general, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said Shittu’s distribution of the caps at FCE meeting downplayed the mood of the nation after Fulani herdsmen went on the rampage killing innocent people. He also described it as the height of sycophancy.
Olajide said, “I am surprised that some of our political leaders are engaged in criminal height of sycophancy completely oblivious of the mood of the people they claim to represent. People are talking about 2019 elections and 2023 presidential elections as if it is somebody’s birthright.
“People should stop taking Nigerians for granted for God’s sake. We are in the 21st century and not the 20th century. The insult is too much.
“It is unfortunate and I am sad that someone could be pre-occupied with such thought and action. When you are talking about timeliness and consideration of the plight of other persons, Yoruba stands out because we are our brother’s keeper. We are liberal and that is why we are always ready to accommodate others and sympathise with their plight.
“It is sad that a Yoruba man should be doing this. Moreover, it violates the regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission on elections. I want to consider it a rumour until the minister refutes it.”