… As Tinubu, Osinbajo, Fayemi hold final meeting

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to meet with APC aspirants on Saturday night or Sunday.

“The President is expected to travel to Ghana tomorrow (today). After that, he is expected to meet with the aspirants and thereafter reveal his preferred candidate for the party’s ticket,” the source added.

In a related development, seven APC presidential aspirants from the South-West are expected to hold a final meeting in Abuja today (Saturday) to decide on the way forward.

They are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ajayi Boroffice; a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and fiery Lagos cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Also expected at the meeting are governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo). Some ministers of South-West extraction are also expected to attend the parley.

The meeting should hold at the Abuja home of a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, around 8pm.

Impeccable sources told our correspondent that the discussion would border on South-West unity and reach a possible consensus.

One of the aspirants, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We will all be meeting at Chief Osoba’s home by 8pm in Abuja. Everyone is expected to be present. We will all sit together and discuss the need to ensure that the South-West gets the ticket.

“However, all of us will be asked to be truthful with one another and see who among us has the best chance of winning the primary. Then if anyone is willing to step down to boost the chances of the South-West, then this will be encouraged.”

Intense lobbying by some northern governors to ensure that the APC gives its presidential ticket to a northerner had unsettled the South-West bloc of the party.

This was said to have caused Tinubu’s outburst at a meeting with Ogun State delegates on Thursday, where he insisted that the APC must give its ticket to a Yoruba man and that he must be the favoured candidate.

Presidential aspirants from the South-East had an emergency meeting on Friday to deliberate on a consensus aspirant for the region.

The frontline aspirants from the region are Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; a former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; the only APC female in the race, Mrs Uju Ken-Ohanenye; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; and Ikeobasi Mokelu.

Although their last meeting took place at the Maitama home of Okorocha days before his house was raided by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the venue of their Friday meeting was unknown.

A source had revealed that just as the South-West leaders, the Igbo aspirants had resolved to consider throwing their weight behind one of their own ahead of the convention.  The source disclosed that all the presidential hopefuls in the region were meeting almost on a daily basis.

Ohaneye confirmed the report in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Friday.

Asked if the South-East aspirants agreed on any form of consensus yet, she stated that it would form the highlight of their meeting by evening. “That is actually what we are doing today (Friday). We are looking at getting a consensus representative,” she said.

When reminded that politicians like Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and Orji Uzor Kalu had thrown their weight behind Lawan, she insisted that they were not at the forefront of the campaign.

“We are talking about APC aspirants. Those people you mentioned are not. We are focusing only on the South-East aspirants. On what grounds are they standing for the South-East?”

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