South-West APC leaders rule out defection ahead of 2019

The All Progressives Congress South-West leaders resolved at the meeting held in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday not defect from the party, ahead of the 2019 elections, according to a report in Punch.

It was learnt that the leaders agreed on the need to demand more infrastructural projects for the zone.

The meeting was attended by the six governors and ministers.

Also at the meeting were national officers of the party and other party leaders from the zone.

Credible sources said the meeting, which some thought would be stormy, was “tactically” taken over by a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

One of the governors, who attended the meeting, said  the former governor of Lagos State took control of the meeting after he reportedly said let bygones be bygones.

The source said, “Tinubu,  must have read our mood and must have known that people were really angry with roles played by some us, especially during the Ondo governorship election which we are not happy with.

“His intervention saved us a lot of time we could have wasted in accusing each other of one thing or the other. From then on, the meeting progressed well.

“In order not to have any discordant tunes from what we agreed to tell the world through the media, that was why we appointed Aremo Segun Osoba to brief you (reporters).”

One of the ministers, who was also at the meeting, said it was resolved that the zone must remain in the APC and that it was wrong to assume that President Muhammadu Buhari did not treat the zone well in his cabinet and other appointments.

For example, he said the zone was well represented in the Federal Executive Council, where ministers from the zone are holding key ministries.

He said, “We have the ministries of Power, Housing and Work, Solid Minerals, Finance, Communications, Information and Tourism, Health, State for Niger Delta.

“So, we agreed that it was wrong to say the President did not treat the zone well.

“We also said we should not allow ourselves to be pushed out of the house that we built.

“We remain an important pillar in the APC and we won’t allow anyone to either provoke us to leave the party or think of moving to another party or form a new one.”

He said what was agreed on was that the ministers and the governors should also carry members of the National Assembly from their states along in their activities.

“The meeting gave those present an opportunity to do a near mid- term assessment of this administration vis a vis how Nigeria, especially how the South-West, has fared.

“It was not lost on all in attendance that Nigerians are groaning under economic hardship and there is the need to offer suggestions on how best to end the sufferings of the people within the shortest possible time.

“Baba Akande is the one tasked with delivering our message to Abuja.”

Those holding cabinet positions were reminded of the fact that they must see themselves as representatives of the hopes and aspirations of people in the zone. They were also told in clear terms that there was no excuse strong enough to justify failure.