By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Today’s scheduled meeting of the 21 former presidential aspirants of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja, could not hold despite series of pre-event publicity.
The roundtable earlier slated for 2p.m. was for the aspirants come up with strategies to support the APC standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to win the February 2023 presidential election.
Although no official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting, it was gathered that most of the aspirants who were invited to the parley were non-committal.
- Mass exodus from APC evidence of imminent collapse ― PDP
- Highly-placed Nigerians involved in crude oil theft – NNPC boss, Kyari
- BBNaija S7: Fans raise ‘DNA test’ topic as Daniella goes to bed with second man, Dotun
Convener of the meeting and APC’s youngest presidential aspirant at its June presidential convention, Dr Nicolas Felix, had earlier said the aspirants had indicated their readiness to attend the meeting.
However, in a message sent to one of the aspirants and seen by Vanguard, Felix implied that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely.
The message read: “Good day your Excellency. Please be informed that the strategic meeting of 2023 presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled to hold on Wednesday the 31st of August has be postponed.
“A new date for the meeting will be communicated soon. Apologies for any inconvenience(s) that this might cause. Stay blessed.”
Vanguard, however, gathered that some of the aspirants did not communicate their readiness to attend the meeting.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has travelled. Senate President Ahmad Lawan did not formally respond to the invitation, likewise former Transportation minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,” said a source.
Suggesting that there could be cracks within the ranks of the presidential aspirants, especially with regards to Tinubu’s candidacy, the source said the party’s standard bearer still has a lot of reaching out to do.
Among those earlier slated to be in attendance were Osinbajo, Amaechi; former Science and Technology Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
Five serving governors, namely Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) were also billed to attend the botched meeting.
Others were Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; former Ogun State governor and serving senator, Ibikunle Amosun; a serving senator, Ajayi Boroffice; former Zamfara governor, Ahmad Sani; former Imo State governor and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; fiery cleric, Tunde Bakare; Pastor and businessman, Dr. Nicolas Felix; former Information Minister, Ikeobasi Mokelu; businessman, Tein Jack-Rich and the only female among them, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
Tinubu had defeated Amaechi, Osibanjo and 12 others to clinch the ticket.
The race for the presidential flag bearer started with 23 aspirants, but nine withdrew shortly before the commencement of voting at the convention.