Political leaders in the South-west and many presidential aspirants from the region on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) resolved at a meeting in Lagos Friday that the region ‘must produce’ the next Nigerian president.
The aspirants met with two former governors of the party – Segun Osoba and Bisi Akande.
The aspirants in attendance were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the party and former Lagos governor; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Ibikunle Amosun, a serving senator and former governor of Ogun State.
Also present at the meeting were Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives; Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing; Rauf Aregbesola, former Osun State governor, and Iyiola Omisore, the National Secretary of the APC.
Gboyega Akosile, the spokesperson for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who hosted the gathering, said the meeting “ended with a one-point resolution, that is to make sure that the region is united on purpose, that the next president of Nigeria must come from the South West.”
Shortly after the meeting, Mr Akande also briefed journalists about the resolution. He, however, did not entertain questions from journalists.
Many observers had expected the meeting to discuss the option of a consensus candidate from the region.
The four presidential aspirants who were at the meeting are among the leading presidential aspirants of the APC.
Three of them, Messrs Osinbajo, Tinubu and Fayemi were close allies and members of the ACN, one of the parties that merged to form the APC in the build up to the 2015 general election.
Mr Osinbajo had also served as attorney-general of Lagos in the eight years that Mr Tinubu was the governor of the state. The former governor also played a major role in Mr Osinbajo’s emergence as vice president in 2015.
A group loyal to Mr Osinbajo had earlier raised an alarm about the venue of the meeting and the organisers, saying it was being held to promote the candidacy of Mr Tinubu.
Mr Akosile’s remarks, however, indicate that the issue of a consensus candidate was not discussed.
Apart from the four aspirants who attended the Friday meeting, the APC has over a dozen other aspirants including Ebonyi governor Dave Umahi, Kogi governor Yahaya Bello, transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi, and a pastor, Tunde Bakare, who is also from the South-west.
The APC concluded the sale of its nomination forms yesterday and about 22 aspirants are believed to have purchased the presidential nomination forms. The forms were sold for N100 million each.
The APC will elect its presidential candidate at the end of May.
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