…Ekiti Governor Not A Threat To Tinubu’s Presidential Ambition, Says Lagos APC
The battle for the Presidency in 2023 may have began in the South West as the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Chapter of the Geo-Politica Zone is presently polarised over the rumoured Presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National leader of APC and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who is the current Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Sources in the party said the ambition of the two men is said to be responsible for the crisis of the confidence in the Zone over the nomination of former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi as the party’s deputy national chairman (South West).
“It was learnt that given the influence of the deputy national chairman, both Tinubu and
Fayemi are ” eager to nominate a candidate who will be their ears and eyes when critical decisions are taken especially as regards the 2023 Presidential election.
It was said that while Tinubu is backing Ajimobi, one of his trusted associates for the positive which became vacant following the appointment of Otunba Niyi Adebayo as Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment last year, Fayemi is said to be rooting for the emergence of Senator Gbenga Aluko a former Senate Chief Whip for the position.
We learnt that the body language of the National leadership of the APC led by Comrade
Adams Oshiomhole is tilting towards Ajimobi, a situation that has not gone down well with Fayemi and other critical stakeholders in the party.
“The issue has sharply caused a division in the South West Chapter of the party as critical stakeholders have failed to reach a unanimous decision on presenting a sole candidate for the position.
The Ekiti State Chapter of the APC has already nominated Senator Gbenga Aluko, who represented Ekiti State South in the Senate between 1999 and 2003, for the position saying the state should nominate a replacement as Chief Niyi Adebayo, the previous occupant hails from the state.
The argument was that when Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the present Minister of Information and Culture, who hail from Kwara State, was appointed by President Buhari in 2015, while he was serving as APC’s National Publicity Secretary, the party replaced him with Bolaji Abdulahi, who is also from Kwara State, and that when Abdulahi left, his successor and
current spokesman of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, also came from the same state.
According to a source, “There is sharp division in the South West caucus of the APC and the main issue is the rumoured Presidential ambition of Governor Fayemi and Bola Tinubu; both men are currently flexing muscles to fill the vacant position of the Deputy National Chairman of our great party.
While Tinubu and some party elders are backing Ajimobi, Fayemi and some few ones are rooting for Senator Gbenga Aluko.
“The issue now is who emerges triumphant among the two? While Fayemi has a good case that the position be retained by Ekiti State as the former occupant is also the state, Tunubu and others are claiming that the position should go to Oyo because it is the only state in the South West that currently has no APC governor.
“However, the odds against Fayemi are that the National Chairman of the party, Adams
Oshiomhole, will have a bigger say in who clinches the position. Aside being Tinubu’s loyalist, Oshiomhole will also not favour Fayemi’s choice, given his role in the plot to oust him as national chairman of the party, “the source said.
Speaking on the issue, Ade Ajayi,spokesman of the APC in Ekiti State, insisted that the position of the deputy national chairman belongs to Ekiti State as the former occupant is from the state.
He said, “When we learned that some leaders of the APC wanted to move the slot to Oyo State, we set up a five-man committee headed by the deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, to go and interface with the party’s leaders that are meeting in Osun on the need to retain the position in Ekiti State according to the zoning reached at the last National Convention.
“We articulated our position in a letter but, unfortunately, some of our females members,
who were aware of our going to Osun and the purpose, decided on their own follow and
make peaceful protest on the need for the party hierarchy in the South West to respect the
decision of the National Convention, “it added.
Speaking further, he said even if the post of the national deputy chairman (South West)would be taken to another state, “it must be at the next National Convention; but for now, it is our slot and we must produce Adebayo’s successor that is what the
Constitution of the party says it must be strictly adhered to.”
In a related development, the Lagos State Chapter of the APC said it was not going back its support for Tinubu’s Presidential ambition in 2023.
“The party also said it didn’t believe that Fayemi’s position as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum will affect Tinubu’s chances. Seye Oladejo, the party’s Publicity Secretary, said: “The political story of Governor Kayode Fayemi will not be complete without
acknowledging the role of our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“So, if some people now think he has political clout because of his present position as the
Chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, then let us wait until the fullness of time.
“I think it is still a bit hasty but now that they are bringing the issue of 2023 to the front burner, as far as we are concerned, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has paid his dues and he has the requisite experience and passion to move this nation forward.