Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and his loyalists were reportedly absent at the reconciliation meeting in Lagos to pacify aggrieved members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in order to pave way for the party’s victory in next year’s general elections.
It would be recalled that Amosun has been aggrieved that his preferred candidate, Abdulkabir Akinlade was dropped by the APC in favour of Prince Dapo Abiodun. This development led to Amosun’s supporters defecting to the Allied People’s Movement (APM), where Akinlade is now the governorship candidate.
Amosun had made it clear that he would work against Dapo Abiodun and the APC in the governorship election, but that he would work for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
However, at the meeting held at the State House, Marina, on Wednesday, APC members in Lagos, Ogun and some other states were present.
At the meeting, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his Borno State counterpart, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, called on aspirants from Lagos and Ogun States to unite and work for the party’s victory at all levels during the 2019 elections.
Ambode and Shettima, who had earlier met with aggrieved aspirants in Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo States, said it was important for members of the party in the Southwest to accept the outcome of the primaries and the party’s supremacy in order to approach the general elections with a united front.
The two Governors, who are both members of the National Peace and Reconciliation Committee set up by the APC to pacify aggrieved party members in the Southwest, said those aggrieved should consider making the necessary sacrifice no matter how difficult it is, in the overall interest of the party.
Speaking at the meeting held at Lagos House, Marina, Ambode said while it was gratifying that there was no issue in Lagos largely due to the personal sacrifice made, the same could not be said of Ogun, and thereby urged concerned party members to do the needful to ensure peace.
“More significantly, we can see from the reflection of those here and I can declare that we do not have any issue in Lagos State and that we are one family. But again that is not to say that there is no platform for reconciliation; we do not know whether there are some aspirants in the crowd who are aggrieved but we can say affirmatively as a party that we are one family in Lagos State.
“This is not, however, to create any prejudice to whatever is happening in Ogun State. Without the setting up of this Committee, it is very clear that things are not the same in Ogun State like we have in Lagos State and we do recognise that. That is why this Committee is more or less anxious to see whatever it is that we can use as ingredients in creating peace in Ogun State.
“Whatever happens in Ogun is a reflection of what is happening in the whole of the Southwest and we are ready to make sure that this our Committee brings everybody back into one family fold. So, we have come with open mind and even when closures have been made, the feelings and input here is what we are taking to Abuja tomorrow and also making sure that NWC (National Working Committee) get a very clear picture of how you feel and ultimately if there is a need to let the highest organ of the party intervene in a way that everything that is happening in Ogun State reflects what is happening in Lagos State, we would be very happy to do it and we are committed to making sure that every representation is taken to party headquarters for redress and whatever it is that can be done,” Ambode said.
While emphasising the need for the party to forge a common ground to prosecute the next year’s elections, Governor Ambode encouraged aggrieved members to embrace genuine reconciliation, saying only such could bring about compensation at the end of the day when the party emerge victorious.