National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the statement credited to his predecessor, Chief Bisi Akande over the party’s 2019 presidential ticket was his personal opinion.
Akande at the end of a stakeholders meeting of South-west APC on Thursday, involving governors, National Assembly members, ministers and other party members, held at the Agodi Government House, Ibadan, Oyo State, declared that the presidential ticket of the party was open to all in the 2019 general election.
According to a report by ThisDay newspaper, Akande who is a very close ally of a national leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had said while responding to a question at the event that Buhari has not said he is running in 2019 adding that anybody in that party that indicates interest is free to become the country’s president.
“He has not told us he is running in 2019. Anybody in our party is free to become the president of Nigeria as long as he indicates interest. We have a process through which a candidate will be selected. If he is lucky to get the ticket, then we have no option than to present him as our candidate”, Akande had said.
But in a telephone interview with the paper, the former Edo state governor said “that was not the situation with some South-west leaders of the party, who were taken aback by the development.
Oyegun said the leaders “maintained that the former national chairman of the party spoke outside the agenda and resolutions of the zonal leaders’ meeting.
“There was really nothing to say as far as the reportage of Akande’s statement was concerned, because it was his personal position and he had a right to it”, Oyegun submitted.
The meeting, which ThisDay said lasted four hours had in attendance Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo State), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos State), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), former Governors Adebayo Alao-Akala, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Olusegun Osoba, Adeniyi Adebayo and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi.
Others are Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu, Minister of State for Niger Delta, Claudius Daramola, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Lasun Yusuff and House Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.