President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly summoned the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to Abuja yesterday over the latter’s rift with Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
A reliable source from the party told The Guardian that the APC Governors’ Forum urged Buhari to appeal to Tinubu not to disgrace one of their own.
Before the closed-door meeting between both men, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, national vice chairman of APC, South West, Chief Pius Akinyelure, and others were said to have expressed concern over the conflict and its effects on the party’s chances of winning the forthcoming governorship election.
The media aid to the national leader, Mr. Tunde Rahman, however, said he was not aware his principal was summoned to Abuja on the matter.
“Honestly, I am not aware,” he affirmed. Pressed further to speak on the rift, he said: “If the governor said there was no rift, it means there is none.”
Another source in the party disclosed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also making frantic efforts to intervene and had travelled to Lagos to meet the governor and Tinubu.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, however, said he would confirm the movement of his principal.
The state chairman of APC, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, meanwhile, told reporters yesterday that the party would be fair to the three aspirants seeking the governorship position.
He noted that the events in the Lagos chapter showed democracy in action.
“You can’t trample on people’s right; you can’t stop anybody from expressing intention to contest as stipulated in the constitution. It is left for the party members to decide their candidate through direct primary. All the three governorship aspirants are going to participate in the primary. If three people have taken forms, it means the party will decide whom it wants. APC is a disciplined party,” he said.
The Lagos chairman of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Mr. Abiodun Dabiri, said: “Unless the citizens of Lagos move against godfatherism through their votes in the next governorship poll, some elements would continue to determine who governs them. This development is a pointer to the fact that our votes have not been counting, otherwise, I wonder why personal issues between two individuals will continue to determine the direction we go.”