Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos state governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, visited Ondo state to reconcile aggrieved members of the party.
Tinubu was accompanied by the former interim national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande; former governor of Ogun state, Segun Osoba and former governor of Ekiti state, Niyi Adebayo.
The APC national leader, who arrived at the Akure Airport at exactly 1:48 pm, was received by Governors Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi of Ondo and Ekiti states respectively.
Other APC notable leaders who received Tinubu at the Airport were Isaac Kekemeke, Olusola Oke, Ali Olanusi among others.
It was learnt that Tinubu’s visit to the state was in connection with the 2023 presidential race.
At a pre-conference meeting he held with Akeredolu, Feyemi and some party leaders, Tinubu was said to have told those present at the meeting to sheathe their swords and let peace reign in the state chapter.
He reportedly pleaded with all aggrieved leaders of the party to support Akeredolu for another term in office.
However, some Tinubu’s loyalists who are not in good terms with Akeredolu protested the modalities used to select those who attended the meeting.
Among those prevented from attending the meeting were former Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Bola Ilori; former member of the House of Representatives, Afe Olowookere, and the immediate past Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Ondo state, Solagbade Amodeni.
A source at the meeting said Tinubu’s visit was part of the preparations for the 2023.
“The whole thing is about the 2023 presidency. We have all seen that with the way things are going, the southwest can only survive the struggle if we put our house in order ahead of that crucial election.
“Within our party, it is almost becoming a North-versus-South battle. And with the seeming intention of our leader to have a shot at the presidency, we can only survive if we all swallow our pride and give concessions where necessary.
“So, the meeting analysed the whole scenarios around the 2023 politics and concluded that we must be one to be able to confront other contenders from outside. For one, unless we get the ticket of our party, the people of the southwest will stone us. They will say we sold out.
“If on the other hand we go into the battle divided, we will end up not achieving anything. So, in looking at the Ondo scenario, various question are begging for answers. Who is running first? The governor, of course. It sounds bitter but that is the truth and we understand the feelings of all those who the tide does not support.
“Therefore, it will be better for us to forgive ourselves and still have our party in place than forcing a sitting governor out for him to do damage to the party at the governorship poll because he has nothing to lose then. The implication will be that the opposition PDP will carry the day, God forbid,” he said.