Leaders of All Progressives Congress from the South West will meet with presidential aspirants from the region on Friday May 6, 2022 in Lagos.
The meeting is being convened by Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State and founding chairman of APC, Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State and other party stakeholders.
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former Governor of Ogun State who have all declared interest to contest for the presidency under the platform of the APC have all been invited to the meeting which will take place at the Lagos State Government House in Marina according to sources with details of the proposed meeting.
This newspaper gathered that the Leaders from the South West especially traditional rulers, politicians within and outside the APC, and other thought leaders from the academics and civil society groups have been stiff worried about what is being described as a ‘crowded field of aspirants’ from the South West APC.
It source noted that Chief Akande who is well respected across political divides in the region and other conveners of the meeting want to see that the list of aspirants from South West is pruned down so that the region does not lose out of the presidential ticket of APC.
“The South West is the biggest investor in APC. The political marriage between the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Changes (CPC) gave birth to APC. ACN came to the merger with 6 Governors against 1 Governor from CPC. The South West sacrificed most for APC. It is only natural that the region should produce the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari from North West.
“The Leaders are worried that if the South West does not get its acts together, we may lose the APC presidential ticket to other region. It is even more worrisome that the 4 aspirants from APC are from same political family. The South East is making legitimate claim to the Presidency. Even the South South that just had the presidency with President Jonathan wants a shot at it again with aspirants coming out of the region,” said the source.
The conveners of the meeting are said to be also concerned about the possible outcome because of the bad blood the ambition of the leading contenders for the APC ticket has already generated especially among the supporters of Vice President Osinbajo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Osinbajo has been accused of betrayal for coming out to contest against Tinubu, his political benefactor.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Fayemi will make formal declaration for the presidency tomorrow (Wednesday) in Abuja. He has been criss-crossing the country in the last two weeks for consultations just as Senator Amosun is prepared to make his own official declaration on Thursday May 5 in Abuja having declared his intention to run in a letter he addressed to the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan before the Ramadan break.
Under the unwritten agreement in APC, power is supposed to come down South after 8 years in the North as exemplified in the Buhari presidency. The reported planned entrance of Northern aspirants like Senate President, Dr. Lawan may ruffle the arrangement if he wins.