Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has pulled out of a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants of South-West extraction expected to hold today Friday, May 6, at State House, Marina, Lagos.
A statement signed by Dr Kayode Ajulo
Convener, Progressive Lawyers For Osinbajo cited a number of reasons for the decision not to participate in the meeting convoke by Chief Bisi Akande, for pro tem National Chairman of the APC
While commending the initiative which it believes is borne out of an earlier call on the Yoruba leaders to hold a strategic conference to provide direction towards the fate of the South-West in the coming presidential election, Dr Ajulo said it should be designed appropriately to promote fairness and genuinity of a clear intention.
“This above-scheduled meeting should have been a welcome development but for the following configurations which were not rightfully designed as it is ought to be:
i. Composition of personality invited: The composition of personality invited for this meeting is a testament to our position that the meeting is a sectional affair of the APC and clearly, not in the interest of the southwest and Nigeria.
ii. The Choice of Venue: Lagos Flag House in Marina, Lagos belongs to Lagos State and associates. This venue should not play host to such a meeting if it will be judged to be credible and fair. The meeting, if it is for the collective good of the people, should be held at a neutral location like Ibadan, Oyo State or Akure, Ondo State.
iii. Unclear agenda of the meeting: We can state for a fact that the motive of this meeting is inexplicit and undefined to many of the invited aspirants as most of them were never engaged. The manner in which the meeting is conveyed like a secret proceeding shows that the conveners have no defined agenda productive enough to be for the benefit of all.
iv. An already drafted communiqué: Information at our disposal has it that a communique has already been prepared and in favour of a particular aspirant. This document is currently in circulation among some of the invitees.
Dr Ajulo further said that the above-stated positions have lent credence to the incredibility of the proposed meeting as well as the unreliability of the same as a compass for the South-West in the 2023 presidential election.
The group also reiterates that its recent call for a consensus arrangement was directed at notable, respected and apolitical Yoruba leaders, who are genuinely interested in the development of the South-West and Nigeria; leaders who patriotically and tenaciously hold on to the history and heritage of Yorubaland and the upliftment of the masses against inordinate personal gains.
“It is on this premise that we look forward to a meeting convened by South-West leaders of note like Chief Afe Babalola, Chief Femi Okunnu, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Iba Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba and frontline traditional rulers in South-West as well as the governors from the region.
“It is undoubted and without gainsaying that the meeting as conveyed with a prewritten communique without the inclusion of the above mentioned notable statesmen on the list of invitees is premeditated and planned to serve a purpose which will not be beneficial to the south-West and Nigeria.
“What is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf is that the clarion call for a consensus aspirant from the South-West is geared towards support for only one person, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who by his extant station, elevation, credibility, competence, experience, intellect, pedigree, and whom the Benevolent has chosen to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Hence, whatever meeting to be convened must be to ensure that all hands are on deck to support the realisation of this mandate”, Dr Ajulo’s statement read.