13 October 2017
…South-west declares no zoning in APC
By Ugonnabo Ngwu
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Thursday failed to show up for the party’s South-West Stakeholders meeting, stating that stomach upset will not allow him risk coming for the gathering held at the Executive Chambers of the Agodi Government Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Also absent were former Ekiti governor, Segun Oni, Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, all of whom APC’s former national chairman, Bisi Akande explained would have been present but for various national assignments.
Tinubu, who was represented by his Media Assistant, Tunde Rahman, said, “Oga had stomach upset and would not want to risk coming. He actually intended to be at this meeting as a stakeholder, but the stomach upset disallowed him. By the time we go back, I hope he would have been okay”.
Akande, who presided over the party’s South-West Stakeholders meeting declared that anybody interested in the 2019 presidency was free to show interest as there was no agenda of sole-candidacy for the President in the party.
But this flies in the face of widespread belief that President Muhammadu Buhari would still be the sole candidate of the APC in the 2019 election, as the APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun was recently reported as saying that Buhari would be allowed the right to first-refusal before throwing its presidential ticket open for contest.
But speaking at the end of the meeting, Akande said, “President Buhari has not told us that. Anybody in our party is free to become the President of Nigeria. If anyone indicates interest and is ready to subject himself to the process through which a candidate is elected, and he is lucky to have the ticket, then, we will have any other thing to do than to present him as our candidate.”
Among the chieftains present at the meeting were: Chief Segun Osoba (ex-Ogun State Governor), Chief Adeniyi Adebayo (ex-Ekiti State Governor), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (ex-Osun State Governor), Minister of Solid Minerals and ex-Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Governors Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN (Ondo), ex- Oyo State Governor Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala; Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, as well as the Deputy National Chairman of the party Chief Pius Akinyelure. Others included Senator Sola Adeyeye (Osun); Senator Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos), Hon. Lasun Yusuff (Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives), representing Osun State.