A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and the pioneer chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, led other South-west leaders of the party to Akure, the Ondo State capital on Tuesday, to work together to ensure the party emerged victorious in next year’s governorship election.
The party in the state has been divided since the primaries leading up to the last election, with the emergences of a faction opposed to the governor.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who initially failed to unite the party members immediately after emerging as governor of the state, lately began to sue for peace as challenges against him for the APC ticket ahead of next year’s polls became imminent.
A meeting between him and Mr Tinubu was earlier held in Abuja where both leaders reportedly buried the hatchet.
The opposing faction are populated by loyalists of the national leader, whose singular ambition is to ensure Mr Akeredolu failed in his bid to secure a return ticket to the Alagbaka government house.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Tinubu, who noted that conflicts were not strange in the political environment, charged leaders and members of the party in the state “not to destroy the house they had built.”
He said party leaders must come together as one so as to win the next election and other future ones
“We are leaving one thing behind, the charity that must begin at home. We want to win the next election in Ondo State and every other election. The solution is in your hands. We want to thank you for your commitment to the party,” he said.
“Our leaders should go back to their wards and preach unity to their followers.”
The meeting, he said, was to restore peace and unity to Ondo APC ahead of the next gubernatorial election.
Also, Mr Akande said the meeting was aimed at resolving the differences among members.
“The meeting is all to promote the interest of All Progressive Congress,” he said. “We discussed how we shall win the next election in Ondo State. You can see all our leaders laughing; APC in Ondo is now one.”
Other leaders who also spoke at the meeting include, former Ogun State governor, Segun Osoba and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Mr Akeredolu.
The former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Ali Olanusi; former Ondo APC chairman, Isaac Kekemeke; APC chieftain, Olusola Oke; APC governorship contender, Segun Abraham and former commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State, Bola Ilori among were also among other leaders who attended the meeting.
Mr Akeredolu thanked the leaders for their commitment and support for the progress of the party in the state.
‘Meeting not called for Akeredolu’s re-election’
However, Mr Kekemeke, who is also a governorship aspirant in the party, said Mr Tinubu never told contenders for the governorship ticket to step down for Mr Akeredolu.
He also disclosed that the meeting over the crisis rocking the party in the state did not discuss Mr Akeredolu’s second term bid.
Mr Kekemeke disclosed this with reporters on the sidelines of the reconciliatory meeting.
“We never talked about first or second term. What we talked about is how our party will remain united and that whether anyone likes it or not, Akeredolu remains the governor of the state and by indication, the leader of the party in the state,” he said.
“There was no talk about second term, third term or fourth term.
“Leaders of our party have spoken to us and we have agreed that we will work together and find domestic solution to our domestic problems at the prompting of our leaders.
“In a short while, we will be putting ourselves together and proffer domestic solutions to our domestic problems as motivated and encouraged by our leaders in the South-west and that will be very soon,” he explained.