Though the conspicuous absence of governor-elect of Ondo State, Rotim iAkeredolu, cast a pall on yesterday meeting in Ibadan of leaders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Southwest, the assembly resolved to work in unity for the continuous success of the party in the region. Akeredola, for obvious reason of his recent ‘insubordination’, that worsened the creeping crisis of the party in the region, was said to have been uninvited.
Briefing newsmen shortly after the meeting, former governor of Ogun state, Chief Olusegun Osoba said southwest region is the area of leaders of progressives in the country, and they were determined to assert their influence in the governance of the country.
Chief Osoba noted that there was unity of purpose in APC in the Southwest, stressing that all burning issues had been amicably resolved at the meeting.
Though he made no specific references and did not entertain questions to that effect, many were ready to agree with him and see whether time will vindicate him.The meeting which held against the backdrop of realignment of forces in the Senate where the dramatic removal of former Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume during the week sparked renewed interest in the power play among factions of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was meant to heal wounds that had almost split the party in the South-west zone down the middle and position it for more cohesion at the Senate ahead of the increasing zonal calculations for power in 2019.
Convened at the instance of the former chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, the meeting was conceived to heal the soured relation amongst leaders and party elders and whip renegade members in line. The crisis that attended the Ondo chapter of the party right from the party primaries to the election had not only polarized the party in the region as some leaders took sides and factionalized the party along two camps reflecting the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party Chairman, Odigie Oyegun on the one hand and that of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a leader of the party. The recent development in the Senate in which 39 from across the six geo-political zones in the country of the ruling party’s 63 members in the 109-member Senate signed the removal of Ali Ndume is still reverberating outside the hallowed chambers of the Senate, more so for the South west whose house had been standing on quick sound recently.
The meeting which lasted for over three hours, had in attendance National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ministers of Information, Lai Mohammed; Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi; Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Communications, Adebayo Shittu, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Cladius Omoleye Daramola,
Governors of Oyo and host, Abiola Ajimobi, Lagos, Akinwummi Ambode, Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, Ogun Ibikunle Amosun and former governors Olusegun Osoba, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Niyi Adebayo
Executive members of the APC in the Southwest as well as, some southwest representatives of the party at the national assembly were also in attendance.