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2019: Confusion in mega party as APC begins total reconciliation

PROPONENTS of the mega party, Action Democratic Party (ADP), appeared to have been caught in confusion, following the recent wave of reconciliation unfolded by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The mega party had hoped to profit from the division among the leaders of ruling APC, following the resentment among a section of the ruling party at the composition of the government by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Some elements of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the aggrieved APC stalwarts had kick-started the mega party option ahead the 2019 general election.

Apparently worried by the news, leaders of the APC were said to have decided to nip its growth in the bud through series of booby traps and by ensuring what was described as “total reconciliation” in the APC fold.

A source close to the promoters of the mega party told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, on Sunday, that the mega party option was faced with challenges at present, following the series of reconciliation currently ongoing within the APC.

It was gathered that part of the reconciliation moves was the deal that ensured the removal of the former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume and his replacement with the choice of the APC hierarchy, Senator Ahmed Lawan, last week.

Also, it was learnt that the deal in the Senate was kickstarted by a meeting between President Buhari and the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, which eventually led to the removal of Senator Ndume.

Also, majority of the potential members of the proposed mega party were believed to belong to the APC, with suspicion that many of them are loyal to Saraki, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu.

Besides the reconciliation at the national level, the APC in the South-West, last week, held a closed-door meeting where issues affecting the region were discussed.

During the Ibadan meeting, the likes of the Works, Power and Transport Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola; his counterpart in Solid Mineral,  Dr Kayode Fayemi; Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and others, for the first time in the recent time, sat together with the national leader of the APC, Senator Tinubu.

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Before the meeting, it was gathered that things had fallen apart between Tinubu and those described as “Buhari Boys” in the South-West APC.

The source revealed that the acclaimed “Buhari Boys” reportedly tested their political might on the Ondo governorship election, where their preferred candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, won the polls without the support of Tinubu.

“For now, I can authoritatively tell you that the idea of floating a mega party ahead the 2019 general election has run into some confusion, following developments in our party, the APC.

“The APC has started a total reconciliation aimed at resolving all contending issues amicably in the collective interest of party members.

“Now, you can see a cordial relationship coming up between the legislature and the executive; both President Buhari and the Senate President Saraki are now speaking with one voice. We now have a new party spokesperson. Also, the South-West zone of the party just met in Ibadan, where the likes of Fashola, Fayemi, Amosun and Aregbesola were in attendance with our national leader, Senator Tinubu, while a new majority leader had also emerged in the Senate.

“To me, this is a good omen for APC as a political party, we don’t need any mega party again. Why changing a winning team in the first instance? At the end of the ongoing reconciliation, the party will be stronger for the 2019 general election because all the issues at stake must have been adequately addressed.

“Everything is politics, I mean the seeming crises in the party and we are going to find political solutions to all of them as a ruling party. We will not allow our opposition to distract us in any form,” the source stated.

It further hinted that the reconciliation agenda would be moved to other geopolitical zones of the country in a matter of weeks from now, as President Buhari and other leaders of the party were said to be committed to genuine reconciliation in the party.

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Another APC chieftain told the Nigerian Tribune in confidence that the major agenda of the party for now “is total reconciliation, for it to be able to turn the fortunes of the country around in the remaining years of the present administration.”

One the promoters of the mega party, who is believed to be loyal to some top lawmakers, confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune the plan to form the mega party may be put on hold, to allow for possible reconciliation, adding that “we want reconciliation too, but where and when it fails, we will know the next line of action.”

Meanwhile, more facts have emerged on the APC reconciliatory moves in the South-West, sequel to the meeting of elders and stakeholders in Ibadan, last Friday.

A five-man peace committee comprising former Governors Segun Osoba, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Niyi Adebayo and Bola Tinubu, with former Governor Bisi Akande as chairman was constituted while former Governor Segun Oni was dropped as a member because he is a serving member of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC).

While Osoba, who addressed newsmen after the meeting, was tactically silent on the crisis rocking the party in the zone, Nigerian Tribune gathered, on Sunday, that there was shouting match among Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

It was gathered that the timely intervention of Prince Oyinlola quell what would have further polarised the party leaders.

The meeting indeed acknowledged the existence of a deep-seated rift among some of the party leaders in the South-West, as the host governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, was said to have set the tone when he told the gathering that peace and unity would remain a mirage within the party in the zone if the divisive tendencies among the affected leaders were not thrashed out.

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Nigerian Tribune gathered that the governor bluntly told the APC leaders the futility of such a gathering if the existing animosity among the leaders could not be ironed out and amicably resolved at the meeting.

An inside source revealed that after the lectures on peace and unity in Yorubaland, delivered by two professors, Governor Ajimobi, in his written welcome address, said “we are seated here talking about peace and unity, but we are deceiving ourselves, as some of the leaders present at the meeting here today are not united and did not even greet themselves when they came in.”

It was gathered that majority of those present at the meeting acknowledged the truth in what Ajimobi said, but they said the meeting was not the right forum to discuss the issue of animosity among the contending leaders.

The host governor was, however, said to have insisted that the atmosphere and the meeting was the most appropriate place to discuss and resolve the issues.

Subsequently, Governor Aregbesola was said to have taken to the floor where he, in a veiled reference to the presumed influences of some federal officers, said “those who thought they are very influential and using the influence to our detriment in the zone should continue in their acts.”

The development was said to have degenerated into a shouting match between him and others, but for the timely intervention of Oyinlola.

It was gathered that Fayemi’s speech at the meeting also heightened the existing tension, leading to a point where the microphones were switched off to prevent the altercation spreading beyond the confines of the venue of the meeting.

Chief Akande was said to have subsequently intervened in the midst of the argument, even as he pointed out that all the principal actors at the centre of the crisis threatening to tear the party apart in the zone were all Tinubu’s boys.

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