Akande, Amosun, Ajimobi, Aregbesola, Akeredolu, Oyinlola, Akala, Osoba, others: Anybody free to challenge Buhari for 2019 APC presidential ticket


‘President Buhari has not told us that. Anybody in our party is free to become the President of Nigeria. If anyone indicates interest and is ready to subject himself to the process through which a candidate is elected, and he is lucky to have the ticket, then, we will have no other thing to do than to present him as our candidate’.
With the above statement, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-West declared on Thursday that anybody is free to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari from any zone for the 2019 presidential ticket of the party.
The position of the zone was declared by former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande.
The meeting, which lasted more than four hours, was held at the Executive Council Chamber of the Agodi Government House, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Present were Governor Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), former Governors Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo), Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Olusegun Osoba (Ogun), Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti who is also Mines and Solid Development Minister), Communications Minister, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, a Minister of State for Niger Delta, Claudius Daramola, Senator Sola Adeyeye, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, and others.
Akande, who said National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was billed to attend the meeting “cancelled it at the last minute because of stomach ache”.
Akande said the leaders were in Ibadan as a follow up to the January meeting they held to appraise the state of affairs of the party and how the zone was fairing in the scheme of things.
He said: “We are happy that our governors and ministers are performing satisfactorily. As a party, we are trying to review our position to see what we are going to do to have Ekiti back for APC in 2018.
He also said since Buhari has not informed them that he would contest in 2019, anybody is free to seek the party’s presidential ticket.
On restructuring, he said: “Restructuring is not our language. Go and ask those who are advocating for restructuring to define it. What I told you just now is devolution of function from the centre to the state and to the local government. Restructuring is a language of other group of people. Go and put your question to them what they mean about restructuring whether restructuring of economy or governance. That is not the APC manifesto,” he added.
Akande also told journalists that former Ekiti governor Segun Oni, Minister for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Minister for Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Fashola, and others would have been present but for various national assignments.


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