By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan — A meeting called to forge unity among prominent Southwest chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, ended on an icy note yesterday after former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some close allies walked out after the first round of a two-stage meeting.
The meeting involving all governors and ministers from the region was, nevertheless, declared a success by party leader and two-time governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba.
The meeting, which was reportedly brokered by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State had in attendance the former National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, Tinubu, Osoba, APC Deputy National Chairman, Engr Segun Oni, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Femi Gbagabiamila, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.
Others included Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun State, Niyi Adebayo, former governor of Ekiti State, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health.
The only high profile office holder absent was the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf who reportedly was out of the country.
The first round of the meeting in the Executive Chamber of the Oyo State Governor’s Office lasted about four hours with all invitees in attendance.
The meeting, which was held behind closed-doors, according to Vanguard sources saw party chieftains confronting one another over alleged acts of betrayal.
When the meeting ended at about 5:05 pm, Tinubu wore a hard countenance likened to a lion fresh from a battle.
Fayemi, a political disciple of Tinubu was, on the other hand, smiling all through.
When Tinubu posed with others for a photograph, he had to be persuaded to soften his mien for the photographs.
He then feigned a dry smile and immediately after, he again assumed a tough mien as he strode towards his waiting vehicle.
Meanwhile, Fayemi was holding Amosun’s hand while Fashola stood apart, smiling occasionally.
The cat was, however, let out of the bag when Fayemi burst into a song, still holding the hand of Amosun.
He sang one of King Sunny Ade’s tunes…Ko le se kija ma wa o, bi ija ba de o, se lo ye ka pari e, ko le se ki ija ma wa o..meaning misunderstanding is unavoidable, when it occurs, we ought to settle it.
Amosun, however, cautioned Fayemi to stop the song.
Speaking on the outcome of the first round of the meeting, Osoba said: “All the members that we invited are here except the Deputy Speaker, who is presently out of the country. We met principally to discuss all the things that may be affecting South-west, and we have come out with a resolution to show that in the APC South-West of APC, there is unity of purpose, the leadership is one, and we have resolved all the issues that may be affecting the governance of this country and what should be the role and the influence that we should exercise as a group in the interest of this country and for the progress of this country.
“We have examined what the government that we are all involved in is bringing, and we have resolved all the issues, and all those that will be taken to Abuja will be taken to Abuja by those concerned. We have related with our legislative members, leaders at the party level and we have related with all our governors, and I can assure you from now onward, there will be total harmony and consultation among our governors for the progress of South West Nigeria.
“Southwest is the leader of the progressives in this country, and we are determined to reassert our influence in the progressive politics of this country for the betterment of Nigeria,” he said.
All the persuasive moves by Ajimobi for Tinubu to tarry a little for the second meeting were rejected as he immediately drove away in a Range Rover Sports Utility Van.
In fact, some of his aides were still looking for him not knowing he had left.
While Tinubu, Ambode, Aregbesola and Amosun left after the first meeting, Akande held the second round of meeting with the ministers.
The second meeting involved all the ministers, including Fayemi, Shittu, Adeosun, Ajimobi and Isaac Adewole.
It was chaired by Chief Akande and ended at about 5:30 pm.
Though details were sketchy, it was gathered that it was a channel through which the mind of the caucus would be passed to the president.
Vanguard gathered that party chieftains felt that the South West may have been betrayed despite the tremendous support given to President Muhammadu Buhari.