The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has met with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State to ramp up preparations for Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
The meeting was held on Sunday at the residence of the minister in Ikeja, Lagos. Mr Aregbesola was a commissioner and influential politician in Lagos before he left to run for governor in Osun State in 2007.
At the meeting, the minister who later became estranged from the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, over his successor in Osun, former governor Gboyega Oyetola, urged the APC leaders to embark on a door-to-door campaign for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is seeking reelection.
The media aide to the minister, Sola Fasure, disclosed this in a statement he issued on Monday.
“It is important to let you know that we cannot allow those who have not been with us since the days of the struggle from SDP, AD, AC, ACN and now APC to take what belongs to us. We worked tirelessly for the success of what we have today in Lagos. We cannot allow those fanning the embers of discord within the party to derail us. Let us forget whatever may be the issue and work for the success of the APC on Saturday,” he said.
“Winning Lagos is not just about shutting the doors to those who do not have the capacity to rule us but to ensure we crown all that Asiwaju has achieved so far, especially now that he is President-elect, to the benefit of our party, and the generality of Lagosians. Let us go back to our various units, wards and communities to work for the APC.”
Responding, the party leaders pledged to ensure the victory of Mr Sanwo-Olu and other candidates of the APC in Saturday’s election.
They expressed appreciation to the minister for his readiness to work in support of the APC in Lagos.
Mr Aregbesola and the president-elect, Mr Tinubu, were close allies until their relationship collapsed over a dispute between Mr Aregbesola and Mr Oyetola.
Mr Aregbesola was angry that his successor abandoned some of his legacy policies and also sent many of his loyalists out of government.
Following the disagreement, Mr Aregbesola opposed the second-term ambition of Mr Oyetola, who in July lost the election to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke.
At a meeting ahead of the party’s primaries, the minister condemned Mr Tinubu for refusing to withdraw his support for Mr Oyetola’s second term bid.
The outcome of the election worsened the rift as Mr Aregbesola and his supporters were believed to have connived in the defeat of Mr Oyetola.
The minister has also been accused of not being enthusiastic about the presidential bid of Mr Tinubu.
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