To reconcile with Afenifere leaders
It is not true –APC leader’s aide
By Taiwo Amodu
Ahead of 2019 general elections, the moribund Alliance for Democracy (AD) may be the political haven for associates of embattled National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Daily Sun gathered that except President Muhammadu Buhari and well-meaning stakeholders in the ruling party take concrete and genuine steps to placate the former Lagos State governor, his allies may ditch the party for the AD.
A party source revealed that Tinubu’s camp may have opened discussions with stakeholders of the platform that brought him to power in 1999.
The party source noted that the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election would be used to test the waters.
The rejection of the recommendations of the three-member Election Appeal Committee chaired by Mrs. Helen Bendega, which called for cancellation of the poll that produced Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and the submission of his name to INEC by the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was the cause of the cold war betweenTinubu and the latter.
Tinubu, while demanding for the resignation of Odigie-Oyegun, accused the former Edo State governor of treating with disdain the joint petition written by Chiefs Oke, Olusegun Abraham and Senator Ajayi Borrofice rejecting the outcome of the primary that produced Akeredolu.
While the national leader backed Abraham for the ticket, forces in the Presidency supported Akeredolu, who was president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).
Daily Sun gathered that Tinubu’s associates were taken aback that while President Buhari invited the National Chairman of the party to the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, he has not made any move to open discussion with Tinubu.
It also learnt that the APC leader’s allies may have initiated a deal aimed at reconciling with certain aggrieved leaders of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, who were ditched during the power game to insulate the AD from the Afenifere.
In the vanguard of those who insisted that Afenifere and AD should not be mutually inclusive were Tinubu, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the late Lam Adesina, Chief Bisi Akande, former governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun states respectively. While the late Ondo State governor, Adebayo Adefarati backed the leadership of Afenifere, the former Ekiti State governor, Niyi Adebayo sat on the fence.
Among those who fell out with Tinubu and other AD governors in league with him, were the Afenifere leader, Chief Abraham Adesanya (now late), Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Olaniwun Ajayi and Reuben Fasoranti. The struggle to separate Afenifere from the control of the political party also culminated in the polarisation of the Yoruba group into two factions with Chief Fasanmi and Fasoranti as factional chairmen.
Speaking with Daily Sun on phone, Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, however, refused to comment. He said: “Who are those making the insinuations? Let them justify what they are saying. I don’t want to react to that!”
But in his reaction, a member of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, neither denied nor confirmed the reconciliation moves. He told Daily Sun that there was urgent need for the Yoruba to speak with one voice, noting noted that it was the desire of Afenifere as a group.
“I am not yet in the picture; what we know is that we are for peace and unity in Yorubalnd. The details of such talks, I can’t tell you, but Afenifere’s desire is for strong realignment in Yorubaland”.