Ibadan Unity Meeting: Buhari boys battle S/West leaders over 2019


… Mandate Osoba, Akande to unite Tinubu, Akeredolu

By Ayo Fadimu

As 2019 elections draw nearer, powerful politicians who currently have the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari might take over the driver’s seat of the Southwest politics ahead of declaration of second term bid by President Buhari.

Among those seen as Buhari’s boys in the Southwest include Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, governor-elect of Ondo State, Barr Rotimi Akeredolu, the House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Hon Yusuf Lasun, Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu and the Deputy National Chairman (South) of APC, Chief Segun Oni.

However, some of the leading APC members close to former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu see the activities of Buhari boys as an affront to Tinubu’s authority and betrayal

“Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his Ogun State counterpart, Amosun nearly had fistcuffs when Aregbesola allegedly called Amosun a betrayer, a statement which did not go down well with Amosun and other party leaders around had to come in to settle the issue.

Both men did not wait to go for the reception organized after the meeting by their host, Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

Sources at the Ibadan APC southwest caucus meeting informed Nigerian NewsDirect that accusations and counter accusations were thrown at each others but frayed nerves were calmed by the speech of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who asked for forgiveness from all those he has offended while he also said he has forgiven all those who offended him.

One of the important resolutions of the Ibadan meeting was the setting up of a committee to settle the differences between Akeredolu and Tinubu over the fallout of the heavily disputed Ondo election.

Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that Buhari is relying on his men to garner votes in the southwest in 2019. Towards this end, several associations will soon spring up across the geo-political zone to ‘beg’ and ‘persuade’ the president to contest for second term. Some of these associations will move from one state to another. The sources  told Nigerian NewsDirect that these marches will be bankrolled by men of the president.

However, Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that Buhari has not lost hope on the support of Tinubu for 2019 election as he is clandestinely wooing the former Ogun State governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, a close confidant of Tinubu to broker peace between the duo.

Apart from Amosun, Osoba is believed to have cordial relationship with all Buhari boys and also have the trust of Tinubu’s camp.

Osoba, who was the convener of Ibadan meeting and Akande, had been mandated to relate the outcome of the Ibadan meeting to President Buhari.

The plan of the presidency, if all entreaties with Tinubu fail is to empower the foot soldiers of the President in the zone in their various states to control the party executives in their various states.

“Since the term of the present party executives will expire before 2019 elections, the presidency will make sure that all the states party executives will be controlled by Buhari boys and where it becomes so tough, a faction that will later be recognized by the national leadership of the party will spring up” a top source in APC told Nigerian NewsDirect.

“But we know that they will fail, what can Fashola do in Lagos?, what can Fayemi who cannot win a local government as a sitting governor do in Ekiti and what will Lasun and Shittu do in Osun and Oyo states respectively?” he asked our correspondent.