Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:22 pm
Former Osun State Governor who was also the former interim national chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande has cleared the air on the party’s position agitations for tweaking of the country’s political structure, saying that restructuring is not part of the party manifesto during electioneering campaign in 2015.
Chief Akande who stated this on Thursday in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State during APC South West Stakeholders’ Forum said that the party presidential ticket for 2019 presidential election is opened to any interested member from any region.
Speaking further on restructuring, Akande pointed out that the party position is devolution of functions from the Federal Government to the state and the local governments stating, “Restructuring is not our language. Go and ask those who are advocating restructuring to define it. What I told you just now is devolution of functions, from the centre to the peripheral government, the state and the local government.
“The restructuring is a language of other bodies and groups of people. You can always direct your questions to them on what they mean by restructuring, whether restructuring in economy or in politics or whatever, go and ask the advocates of restructuring what they mean by restructuring. That is not in the APC manifesto or constitution”.
He noted that the essence of the meeting was to review all the plans and programmes spelt out for the party leaders in a meeting which held last January, adding that after an assessment of the performances of the governors, ministers and other political office holders under the umbrella of the party, the party leaders were satisfy with their performance.
According to him, “We the leaders of APC in Southwest together with our leaders in government, both at the state and at the national level met to review what we decided in our meeting of January and to see whether the efforts of our leaders in government has been fruitful and we are happy that we have had a very happy meetings and the resolutions that we are on course as we decided last January. We are happy that our governors and minister are performing satisfactorily.
“Yes, on the coming elections in Ekiti and Osun, we will try to review our positions and we are poised to see as a party what we will be able to do to have Ekiti back to APC. This is a meeting of the party leadership outside and inside the government, not the party in politics. I won’t be able to tell you the review that the party has been able to make about the election in Ekiti and Osun and what they are doing to ameliorate the situation. We are concerned about the services of our government to the people rather than electoral matters”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Governor Abiola Ajimobi pointed out that the meeting presented a veritable ground for the political leadership of the party to reconnect with their political root and keep re-engaging themselves as people whom nature has entrusted with the political leadership of the region at this material time.
He added, “Similarly it is a reconnect to the ideals that are germane to the progress of our people and, by extension, to the growth and development of Nigeria. Like a flash in a pan, two years have rolled by since our party, the All Progressives Congress, took over power at the federal level, riding on the mantra of change, and we are gradually moving towards the third anniversary of that historical feat. It is only natural for us, particularly in the South-West Region, to take time off to reflect on the journey so far and compare what we promised to deliver to our people in the country in general and the South-West Region in particular, with what we have indeed been able to deliver.
“It is imperative for us, as we approach the third year of our tenure at the federal and State levels, to engage in some introspection to identify what could have been done differently, and if necessary, go back to the drawing board to proffer agreeable methods on the way forward, with our people as the ultimate beneficiaries”.
Stressing the need to the political leadership of the region to brainstorm and forge a unity of purpose which would be beneficial to the people, the governor said that the past leaders of the region wherever they found themselves, used to exhibit such attributes as vision, determination, selflessness, courage, steadfastness and passion for the emancipation of their people.
“We must, therefore, renew our resolve to re-enact these qualities in order to bring back the lost glory of our region and reposition it for our people in order that they may enjoy the full benefits of entrusting our party with their destinies. if the truth must be told, we in the South-West today need to rediscover ourselves and the common bond that ties us together as a people, and let it work for the development of our people in the region. We must be ready and prepared to sacrifice our self interests and ambitions for the common goals and speak with one voice at all times as we confront the developmental challenges facing the South-West region and our people. It will definitely not be in our overall best interest to work at cross purposes,” he added.
“Today, we must reaffirm that the greatness of our region in the past was not just because of our education or infrastructure alone, but primarily because we were known as selfless, forthright, accommodating and, above all, equitable and fair people. If, in the past years, politics had been allowed to take that away from us, we must commit ourselves to bringing back those values and resolve that never again are we going to allow mundane things to rob us of the progressive character and vibrancy for which we were renowned. It should never be about “me” but always about “us” a people.”
The host governor called attention of the need for states of the region to collaborate on economy, and infrastructure, calling on his colleagues to ensure that the party record victory in the gubernatorial elections of Osun and Ekiti slated for next year.
Among the governors in attendance were: Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Osun of Ondo state. Other party stalwarts present include former Governors of Ekiti State, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister for Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Claudus Daramola, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff, and the Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu could not attend the meeting because he is currently indisposed while the Minister for Works, Power and Housing and former Governor of Ekiti State Engineer Segun Oni could not also attend the meeting due to other national assignment they are attending to, according to Chief Akande.