S/West APC govs, leaders reconcile, strategise in Ibadan

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From left, Senator Sola Adeyeye, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Chief Segun Oni, Mr Adebayo Shittu, Senator Bola Tinubu, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Bisi Akande, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Chief Segun Osoba, Mr Niyi Adebayo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Governor Rauf Aregbesola, during the South-West All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders’ meeting, in Ibadan, on Thursday. PHOTO: ALOLADE GANIYU

THE leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held a reconciliatory meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Thursday, where it resolved to present a common front on sundry issues affecting the country

Attended by prominent elected and appointed leaders of the party from the zone, it was the first to be held since President Muhammadu Buhari constituted his cabinet in November 2015

There had been noticeable cracks in the party in the South-West, especially in the aftermath of the 2016 governorship elections held in Edo and Ondo states, which divided the party loyalty along the Senator Bola Tinubu versus Chief John Odigie-Oyegun camp and the Tinubu versus Rotimi Akeredolu/Kayode Fayemi camp in the two states, respectively.

However, the Thursday meeting, held at the behest of the former APC interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, appeared to have put an end to all speculations about the rift in the party in the zone, as it was attended by key figures at the two opposing camps.

In attendance were the host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Osun; Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun and the Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode.

Former Governors Tinubu, Segun Osoba, Bisi Akande, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Adeniyi Adebayo and Segun Oni of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states, respectively were also at the meeting.

Also present were Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi; his counterparts in the Ministries of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Health, Professor Issac Adewole; Communications, Adebayo Shittu and the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Professor Claudius Daramola.

Others at the meeting were the Senate Chief Whip, Professor Sola Adeyeye; House Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, among others, while the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yussuf, was absent, as he was said to be out of the country.

Apparently taking a position on issues affecting the South-West in national politics, vis-à-vis the crisis hitherto in the party, the party leadership in the zone resolved that APC would henceforth remain one indivisible entity.

Briefing newsmen shortly after the meeting, a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Osoba, said the leaders and stakeholders of APC from the region met to review the place of the South-West in national politics.

Osoba, who spoke extempore, flanked by Tinubu, said the South-West, as the leader of progressive politics in the country, had resolved to reassert itself in national governance, particularly in the Buhari-led government, which he said party leaders from the zone brought about.

“The meeting today [Thursday] was that of elders and stakeholders of APC in the South-West. We are happy that all that were invited were present, except the Deputy Speaker [Yusuf Lasun] who is out of the country.

“We met principally to discuss the issues of all agitations affecting the South West and we have come out with a resolution to show that in the South West of APC, there is unity of purpose, the leadership is one and we are all together on all issues.

“We have resolved on all the issues concerning the governance of this country and what should be the role and influence that we should exercise as a group for the interest and progress of the country.

“We have examined the government that we were all involved in bringing about and we have reviewed all the issues. Those that will be taken to Abuja [to President Muhammadu Buhari], will be taken there by those concerned.

“We have related with all our governors, our legislative arm -the National Assembly members- and we have related with our leaders at the party level and all the issues were taken exhaustively.

“I can assure you that from now onward, there will be total harmony and consultation among our governors for the development of the South-West. These are the kernels of the issues we discussed today.

“South-West is the leader of progressives in this country and we are determined to re-assert our interest in the progressive politics for the betterment of the country,” he said.

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