South West APC: Tinubu Begs For Forgiveness… Aregbesola Blows Hot!
BY SOLA SADIQ – –
For the first time in over a year, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, met with some of his estranged political proteges in what sources described as the first in a series of steps to unite the leading lights of the party in the South West.
The meeting which was hosted by the Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi at the Government House in Ibadan, the state capital, also had in attendance the former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande; all the serving APC governors in the zone, three former governors of Ekiti, Niyi Adebayo, Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi; ex-Gov Olusegun Osoba of Ogun; Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and his counterparts in Finance and Communications, Kemi Adeosun, Bayo Shittu, amongst several others.
Plans for the meeting, which sources say President Muhammadu Buhari was fully briefed, were shrouded in utmost secrecy.
Until the meeting held, there had been strong speculations that all was not well between Tinubu and his political associates, including Fashola, Fayemi and Amosun.
The climax of the crisis was the fallout of the Ondo State governorship election held last year, with Tinubu reportedly throwing his weight behind Olusola Oke, the Alliance for Democracy candidate against his party’s choice, Rotimi Akeredolu. Oke had defected to AD in protest against the victory of Akeredolu in the APC primaries.
The Ibadan meeting, which was largely facilitated by Ajimobi and Akande, was as stormy as it was reconciliatory. The highpoint of it all, according to sources, was Tinubu’s gesture to extend the olive branch to his ‘opponents’.
A source painted the scenario: “When Tinubu stood up to speak, everyone expected him to take the likes of Fashola, Fayemi and Amosun to the cleaners for their alleged betrayal, but they were all stunned when he told those he might have offended to forgive him. His speech was so touchy and emotional.”
But before Tinubu spoke, a drama played out when Gov. Aregbesola lost his cool towards Amosun, calling him “a betrayer and ingrate”. Amosun did not however respond. It took the intervention of Baba Akande and Tinubu before the Osun governor calmed down.
Aregbesola’s outburst against Amosun over the latter’s alleged betrayal of Tinubu was not the first, another source added. Late last year, the Osun governor had expressed a similar view right at Amosun’s office in Abeokuta in the presence of Gov. Ajimobi and Chief Bisi Akande. The Abeokuta meeting held after the tribute of honour held for the late Afenifere chieftain, Chief Olanihun Ajayi at Isara Remo, Ogun State.
Follow-up meetings at a yet to be determined venue to further concretize the unity in the party in the zone are in the works, it was learnt.