Some governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are said to be angry for not being invited to two meetings organised by Kaduna state Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’i and transport minister Rotimi Amaechi.
The meetings were said to have been organised in preparation for the 2019 elections. Daily Trust reports that the ignored 14 governors are demanding to know why they were left out of consultations.
The two meetings were said to have been held in October and December. The meeting was held at the Abuja residence of Amaechi, who hosted the meeting together with Governor El-Rufa’i.
Sources said the meetings were initially billed as “political consultation,” but it was convened to extract a pledge of allegiance to President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as APC’s candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
The first meeting which took place in October was attended by Governors El-Rufai, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi, Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa and Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state. In the meeting which was billed as “political consultation” El-Rufa’i and Amaechi was reported to have prevailed on them to pledge allegiance to President Buhari in 2019.
The invited governors were said to have pledged allegiance after which El-Rufa’i led them to attend congregational Friday prayers at the Presidential Villa Mosque on Friday, October 27, 2017. The news outlet also reported that President Buhari received the six governors in audience. El-Rufa’i, who spoke on their behalf, was said to have assured the president of their support.
Two months’ later, Amaechi and El-Rufa’i were said to have invited another batch of APC governors. 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. The meeting was said to have taken place on Monday, December 18, 2017.
Daily Trust sources however claim 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 Bola Tinubu, whose loyalty to Buhari in 2019 is not certain.
The source however expressed surprise that 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.
Going further, the news outlet reported that 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.
The source however said “it is not clear” Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and Muhammad Badaru Abubakar were excluded from the meetings.
Atiku had defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) abandoned him but Ojudu claimed this was false. He said Atiku failed to contribute to the party even during when the APC was being formed.