Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday made a last-minute shuttle to the Presidential Villa in his battle to get the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket for his preferred candidate.
He was received by President Muhammadu Buhari. Governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) were with Amosun.
It was learnt that the President made no firm commitment as Amosun, who holds a Senatorial ticket for Ogun Central, is weighing his options.
Amosun’s next moves remained unclear last night.
The meeting was held at the President’s official residence in the Presidential Villa.
The governors told the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) that they were at the Villa to assure Buhari of their continued support ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
Akeredolu said apart from assuring the President of their support, they also seized the opportunity of the meeting to “talk on some issues and put our feet on ground on the issues”.
Amosun and Fayemi also expressed confidence that Buhari would win the 2019 elections.
According to a source in the Presidency, the session was held not only because of Amosun but to “consider the larger picture of a likely loss of Ogun State to another party in 2019.”
The source said: “The session was used to review all the circumstances surrounding the primaries in Ogun State and the face-off between the APC leadership and the governor.
“It was a follow-up meeting to separate intervention meetings the governor has had with the key strategists of the President and some members of the presidential kitchen cabinet.
“Amosun actually sought a decisive intervention of the President to iron out all issues and mutual reconciliation.
“The implications of backlash of the crisis in Ogun on the APC’s chances at the presidential and governorship polls in 2019 were also frankly highlighted at the session as the state ranks higher with Lagos and Oyo as those with huge votes.
“The atmosphere was cordial and the President listened with rapt attention.”
Asked of the outcome of the meeting, the Presidency source added: “There was no firm commitment from the President to Amosun. He only noted all arguments for and against Amosun and the stalemate in Ogun State.
“I think the governors were not really there to back Amosun but to look at the larger picture of the political and voting situation in the South- West and the need to reconcile or re-unite APC leaders in the zone.”
It could not be immediately ascertained if the President will accede to the governors’ request.
“No one can say what will be the mindset of the President, “the source added.
“ It is either Amosun accepts the verdict of the party or go all out to ruin the chances of APC in Ogun State to prove a point that he is a force to reckon with politically.
“If Amosun plays a spoiler’s game, the APC may lose but he might be the greatest loser because he can sink into political oblivion.”