Despite the claim of forging ahead as a united political family, indication has emerged that the frosty relationship between chieftains of the All Progressives Congress has not been addressed.
A meeting between the party presidential candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the 22 other presidential aspirants fixed for Wednesday was aborted on Tuesday night.
A statement issued by one of the aspirants and convener of the aborted roundtable, Dr Nicolas Felix, said a new date will be communicated soon.
The statement read, “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 been postponed.
“A new date for the meeting will be communicated soon. Apologies for any inconvenience(s) that this might cause.”
Expected to attend the meeting to brainstorm on adopting winning campaign strategies to assist the candidate was former and serving governors, former Ministers and federal lawmakers who sought for the ticket won by Tinubu last June at the Presidential Convention held at Eagles Square.
The list included former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi 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.
Serving governors to storm the venue are: Governors Yahaya Bello ,Dave Umahi Abubakar Badaru, Ben Ayade and Kayode Fayemi, of Kogi, Ebonyi, Jigawa,Cross Rivers and Ekiti States, respectively.
From the National Assembly are Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; former Ogun State governor and serving senator, Ibikunle Amosun; Senator Ajayi Boroffice and Rochas Okorocha.
Others are two-term Zamfara State governor, Ahmad Sani; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; Pastor Tunde Bakare; and Businessman, Dr Nicolas Felix.
Also to grace the meeting to brainstorm on how to win the 2023 elections are former Information Minister, Ikeobasi Mokelu; Businessman, Tein Jack-Rich and the only female aspirants, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
While the statement that conveyed the postponement was silent on the reason for aborting the gathering aimed at “adopting winning campaign strategies that seek to carry every Nigerian along in our bid to coast home to victory ahead of the 2023 general elections, ” investigation revealed that the indifference of most of the aspirants to the meeting informed the postponement.
” Some of them gave excuses that the date given was not convenient; some did not even acknowledge the invite.”
The party source revealed that the meeting in the United Kingdom between the APC presidential candidate and certain governors of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party might have worsened the bad relationship between Tinubu and some of the power blocs in the APC.
According to the party source, the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who came second in the race for the APC presidential ticket was particularly taken aback that Tinubu allegedly sealed a deal with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to give the latter governorship candidate support in next year general elections while the Rivers Governor would promote the APC presidential candidate in the southern state.
Further checks revealed that one of the aspirants invited for the strategic meeting, was the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who travelled out of the country on Wednesday for an official engagement in the United States.
In a telephone interview with Nigerian Tribune, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo who is the spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council however said he was not aware of any meeting fixed for Wednesday between Tinubu and presidential aspirants.
He said:” I am not sure that such a meeting was in the offing today ( Wednesday). I am actually not aware.”