Politics

2019 election: Amaechi, El-Rufai shut out Okorocha, Ambode, 12 other APC governors in pro-Buhari meetings

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, have reportedly shut out fourteen governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in several meetings ahead of the 2019 election.

The governors are angry that they were deliberately not invited to two meetings organised by El-Rufa’i and Amaechi all geared towards the 2019 elections.

According to Daily Trust, the 14 governors are demanding to know why they were left out of consultations, the source said.

Two of the meetings, according to the newspaper, were held in October and December, this year at the Abuja residence of Amaechi, who hosted the meeting together with Governor El-Rufa’i.

The meetings were meant to extract a pledge of allegiance to President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as APC’s candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

The newspaper reports that the first meeting which took place in October was attended by Governors El-Rufa’i, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi, Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa and Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State.

El-Rufa’i and Amaechi were said to have prevailed on the governors to pledge allegiance to President Buhari in 2019.

According to the report, Amaechi and El-Rufa’i invited another batch of APC governors to the Transport Minister’s Abuja residence.

Those who attended the second meeting were Governors Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau, Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa, Samuel Ortom of Benue and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi. This meeting took place last Monday, December 18, 2017.

Newsmen reports there are speculations that Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State were probably shut out because they are believed to be loyal to APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whose loyalty to Buhari in 2019 is not certain.

Also, Governors such as Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo, who are also known to be loyal Buhari supporters, were kept in the dark by El-Rufa’i and Amaechi.

The source noted that these governors are also known to be close to Buhari and that Okorocha has publicly endorsed Buhari for 2019 on several occasions.

The sources said Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger “were probably left out because they are believed to be close to Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki,” who is thought to nurse presidential ambitions.

Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and Muhammad Badaru Abubakar were also excluded from the meetings.

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