20171022

POLITICS | South-West Governors Absence from APC Parley, A Protest

The growing rift among leading figures in the ruling party - APC has been cited as the reason behind the absence of all governors of South-West states from the party’s consultative meeting in Abuja.

It was learnt in Abuja on Saturday that the absence of the Yoruba APC governors was designed to “send a message” to the party’s administrative leadership.

The consultative meeting, which was held at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja, on Wednesday, was at the instance of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee.

Apart from the deputy governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, who represented his governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), none of the other five South-West governors attended the meeting or sent in representatives.

It was also unclear whether they sent in apologies as is usually the practice.

According to Punch, a top-ranking source within the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It was a message to all who care to understand the way the South-West plays its politics; there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests.

“Did you see the attendance during the South-West zonal meeting? That should tell you something. I can assure you that all those absent from this (Wednesday’s meeting) will be present at the caucus meeting on the 30th (October) and NEC on the 31st if God keeps us alive.”

Although the Bauchi State governor, Abubakar Mohammed, told reporters that the issue of an automatic ticket for President Buhari did not come up, a party source, who attended the meeting, said there were subtle moves to use the gathering to endorse Buhari for 2019.

But the idea was said to have been dropped after a governor from North-West and another from North-Central drew the attention of those at the meeting to the dangers of doing so “at the moment”.

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