Buhari/APC Dinner: Osinbajo, Tinubu, Akande absent


….Restructuring, 2019 election divide APC leaders

Raji Dare

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu  was absent at a dinner held  on Thursday at the official residence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Also absent at the dinner were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Chief Bisi Akande according to photographs obtained by Nigerian NewsDirect.

The absent of Osinbajo was however based on national assignment which took him out of the country.

The absence of the three leaders of APC from the South West is a follow up to the Cold War among leaders of the APC on restructuring  and speculations over plans by Tinubu to contest for President in 2019.

While APC Governors from the North said that they cannot be stampeded into restructuring, their colleagues from the South believed that  restructuring will fast track development at the grassroot. At a meeting of the Northern states governors recently, Governor of Borno State Ibrahim Shettima said any restructuring that may be done should be writhing acceptable criteria and must be fair to all component parts of the country.

Present at the dinner  of President Buhari was a former governor of Enugu state, Sullivan Chime, who joined the party in May 2017 after months of deal playing.

“This is the only party that can take any politician to their destination and I pray that what happened to the PDP does not happen to APC, Chime said.

APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, led others that include Former Governor of Sokoto, Wamako, APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, Former Abia State Governor Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, SGF Mr Boss Mustapha, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, APC Deputy National Chairman SouthWest and former Governor of Ekiti State Engr Segun Oni and National Secretary of the Party, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni

However, our reporter gathered that President Buhari is not comfortable with the position of Tinubu on the issue of no automatic ticket for Buhari and all APC Governors. This, he said informed fresh realignment that will help to gather  votes needed from the South West to support mass vote expected from the North West, North East and part of North Central.

Tinubu had stated severally that none of the serving governors will receive automatic ticket during the 2019 general election.

Tinubu who was in Akure on a private visit  recently to the leader of the Pan Yoruba Socio- Political Group, Afenifere Pa Reuben Fasoranti was reacting to endorsement of President Buhari by some governors in the ruling APC. His visit to the leader of Afenifere was seen by many as a realignment with the mainstream Yoruba Group ahead of the 2019 geeneral election. Tinubu declared that “no governor can appopriate the power of endorsement to themselves adding that an indivudual opinions “ does not matter at this stage” The leader of the APC, was visiting Fasoranti almost after 14 years when he parted ways with the mainstream Afenifere to form a splinter group called Afenifere Renewal Group ARG.

Also, a group of politicians, believed to be loyalists of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, held  a mega rally in Lagos State, to drum support for Tinubu, who they believe is currently being persecuted by the leadership of the party, ahead of 2019.