Leaders of the All Progressives Congress in the South-West, on Friday, cautioned presidential aspirants from the zone to guard against their utterances.
It was gathered that the meeting, which was held behind closed doors at the Lagos House, Marina, also resolved that name calling and other personal attacks should not be encouraged by the aspirants and their supporters.
It was learnt that the aspirants were asked to work with whomever among them emerges as the party’s candidate for the presidential election.
According to sources, the leaders also impressed the aspirants to ensure that the South-West does not lose the opportunity to produce the President in 2023.
A source at the meeting said, “The issue of betrayal was put to rest as the elders affirmed that everyone who desired to run for any political office whatsoever was not encumbered in any way at all.”
It was gathered that the meeting did not agree on the issue of consensus.
A source, who was at the meeting, said the issue was also not listed as part of its agenda, but that it was stylishly introduced by one of the leaders.
He said one of the speakers asked if the aspirants from the zone could still step down for one another if they realised that the zone would be defeated at the party’s presidential primary slated for the end of the month.
But he said none of the aspirants in attendance responded as they were not ready to step down for the other.
The source stated, “How do you ask someone who has paid N100m to step down? Step down for who? All the aspirants believe that they are popular and can win.
“Funnily enough, the issue of consensus was not listed in the agenda of the meeting. It was also not part of the text messages sent to us for the meeting. The meeting was majorly concerned about the utterances that are already portraying us as being divided and that the zone is behaving as if we have no leaders.
“Yet, there are concerns that the large number of aspirants could put the zone in danger if we go into the primary like that. But nobody was asked to step down for the other.”
The meeting was convened by the former interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, and a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba.
Present at the meeting were the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Also at the meeting were the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo; governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Oyetola of Osun states.
Others include the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the APC National Secretary, Otunba Iyiola Omisore; a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Moses Adeyemo; and a former National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-West Zone, Chief Pius Akinyelure.
However, two presidential aspirants from the South-West, Pastor Tunde Bakare, and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ajayi Boroffice, who have all purchased forms, were absent at the meeting.
Akande said the presidential aspirants were united that the presidency should come to the South-West region.
He stated, “We the APC are united and we will ensure that the presidency comes to our region, the South-West. We had a fruitful discussion at the meeting today (Friday).
“We had a fruitful discussion. We also resolved that everybody should maintain absolute decorum because we are united.”
At the meeting, Akande called on all aspirants and governors to ensure that they carry on with their campaigns with decorum.
The APC chieftain was said to have called on them to put the interest of the South-West first and ensure that they would not lose the ticket at the primary, which comes up at the end of the month.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.