The shape of 2019 politics in the south-west appears to be forming gradually with the gathering of the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos on Sunday.
Political associates of Bola Tinubu gathered in Ikoyi to welcome Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state, back to APC.
Osoba left APC for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) after falling out with Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state, before the 2015 general election.
Conspicuously absent at Sunday’s meeting was Amosun, who is regarded as the closest politician to President Muhammadu Buhari in the south-west.
Also absent were two ministers – Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos, and Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti – whose ministerial nominations were widely reported to have been against Tinubu’s wishes.
Speaking on Sunday after a closed door meeting of APC leaders at the Ikoyi residence of Osoba, Rauf Aregbesola, governor of Osun state, said the former governor has staged a comeback to the APC.
“A time was when Osoba switched to another party, he was a foundation member of the APC and he was in the APC throughout my election,” he said.
“Yes, he was for a time with the SDP, but with what we have just done today, Akinrogun Osoba, the Aremo himself is back with the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race.”
He said the leadership of the progressive politics in the western part of Nigeria on the platform of the APC had resolved all their differences.
“As such we are happy to tell the world that the leadership of progressive politics in the western part of Nigeria is united,” he said.
“We are ready to jointly prosecute the agenda for growth, purposeful leadership, development, good governance in the Western part of Nigeria.
“The progressive leadership of the Yoruba race is now fully united and are ready and charged to lead our efforts to reposition our land and integrate with others nationwide to put Nigeria in its proper footing.”
Tinubu expressed his delight over the development, saying it was very crucial for the party to strengthen its front.
“I am an unapologetic progressive and I will remain one and that is the only principle I abide with,” he said.
“Wherever the progressives are, they must be united with their vision. Nobody is left out, it is all progressives and no one is left out, no matter your insinuation.”
Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo state governor; Niyi Adebayo, former Ekiti state governor; Bisi Akande, interim chairman of the APC; Idiat Adebule, Lagos state deputy governor; Olusegun Adesegun, former deputy governor of Ogun state, among others attended the meeting.