As the 2023 politicking gathers momentum, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, have resolved to work together to address the lingering crisis rocking the party.
The two top leaders of the party, who are nursing presidential ambition, made the resolution during a meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday, it was gathered.
While Tinubu had declared for the presidential race, sources said Fayemi would do the same, barring last minutes change of calculation.
The Abuja meeting came to many stakeholders of the party as a surprise, observers said. Daily Trust reports that there were suggestion that the relationship between the duo had turned sour since 2018 when Fayemi was re-elected as governor.
At the meeting on Wednesday, it was gathered that the two APC leaders discussed the issue of the forthcoming Ekiti governorship election slated for June 18, this year.
The party primary has been fixed for January 27.
A source said, “While the two politicians have presidential ambition, they both face serious challenges outside the South West region.
“Therefore, the best thing for them to do is to cement their relationship at home, speak with one voice, and concretise their relationships in the other five geopolitical zones. Once they achieve this, any other thing can follow as we approach the 2023 presidential election.
There are plans in some quarters outside the South West to undermine them and therefore, their coming together is a good omen.”
Another source said, “The Ekiti governorship election and how to keep the party united in the state was discussed during their meeting in Abuja. You know seven persons have indicated interest for the race in our party,” he said.
At the national level, it was gathered that Tinubu and Fayemi reviewed the delay in the conduct of the national convention of the party. The convention, where new members of the National Working Committee (NWC) would emerge, was fixed for February without a date.
Our correspondents report that since the ousting of the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC in June 2020, the ruling party has been under the firm grip of three governors; Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), who chairs the caretaker committee; Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Mohammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa). The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is said to be part of the clique of the three governors.
Party sources said the delay in the conduct of the convention was part of the plots of the three governors to maintain their hold on the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
A source said the governors have gotten the backing of a section of the presidency to “Stop Tinubu” from picking the party’s presidential ticket. It was further gathered that Fayemi was not being considered by the clique.
There have been reports that some APC governors are mounting pressure on former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to join the APC.
“The plan was to pick one of the governors or a minister as the running mate of the former president,” he said.
Daily Trust gathered that the resolution by Tinubu and Fayemi was to deflate the plot of the three governors to edge them out of the race and by extension the South West geopolitical zone.
Controversy has been trailing the purported power shift agreement between Tinubu and Buhari before the 2015 general elections. It was further gathered that Tinubu is banking on the support of Kano State Governor, Abdullah Umar Ganduje, the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum and others to penetrate the North.
The declaration by Tinubu on Monday has signalled the commencement of the politicking for the 2023 presidential race. Across the country, the declaration has been dominating the political discourse, thus gingering other aspirants. Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi made his intention known 24 hours after Tinubu’s confirmation of interest.
They have a long standing relationship – Ekiti gov’s CPS
Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman did not respond to a text test message sent to him but Fayemi’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said the two leaders have a long standing relationship.
“I don’t know why the media is interested in the meeting; don’t forget that Asiwaju and the governor have a long-standing relationship. Forget what you read in the newspapers, they meet regularly. What happened on Wednesday was one of such meetings.
They met in Bauchi during the wedding Fatiha of the daughter of Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and they said okay, ‘Let us meet when we get to Abuja’ and they met. That is why till tomorrow, you will not see the pictures of the meeting; there was nobody else at the meeting. There was no camera; only two of them.
“Ignore whatever you read in the papers, honestly speaking, these people, they don’t do their thing for the camera. I am aware of the meeting, but I was not there. It is not an unusual thing for them to meet, they meet regularly, a relationship that has spanned 25 – 30 years don’t wish it away on the altar of politics,” he said.
Asked when Fayemi will declare for the presidency, the spokesman said, “He has not told me that he is nursing any presidential ambition. He only said he has works to do, and he is concentrating on it.”
Faleke, others seek divine intervention for Asiwaju
The member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, James Faleke, has led other stalwarts of the APC in his constituency to hold a special prayer session for the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
The prayer session held at the LTV 8 Blue roof arena, Agidingbi, Ikeja, on Wednesday, had both Christian and Islamic clerics prepared altars of prayers for the success of Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
The event was also spiced with musical performances by gospel juju music artist, Yinka Ayefele and popular Islamic singer, Alhaji Abiodun Abdul Azeez (Saoti Arewa).
Faleke, who is the Director, Planning and Logistics of Tinubu Support Group (TSG), told the party faithful that the aspiration of Tinubu would be fulfilled by prayer and the support of the electorate.
By Ismail Mudashir (Abuja), Abiodun Alade (Lagos) & Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti)