The governors of Ondo and Ekiti States, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi, have given the reasons they could not attend the meeting of the South West leaders of the All Progressives Congress, held in Lagos State, on Sunday.
APC chieftains including Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, and Olusegun Osoba; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others, had met on Sunday in Lagos to discuss topical national issues.
The leaders had backed Southern governors’ open grazing ban, call for restructuring, state police, as well as rejected calls by separatists for Yoruba nation, amongst others.
However, Akeredolu and Fayemi were conspicuously absent from the meeting.
Reacting, while Akeredolu said lack of “timeous communication aside mix up, was largely responsible for his inability to attend the meeting,” Fayemi said he “wholeheartedly supports” the stance of APC leaders despite his absence from the meeting.
A statement issued by Akeredolu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olabode Olatunde, on Monday, read: “Governor Akeredolu would have loved to be present at the meeting for several reasons. Far more important, the issues distilled bordered on the Southern Governors’ Asaba Declaration.
“However, a slight mix-up and communication gap had caused his unintended absence even as an earlier engagement had been fixed for Ibadan weeks before the meeting.
“Nonetheless, the resolutions reached by the revered leaders at the Lagos meeting are quite commendable and timely; the issues discussed are germane, and are clear indications that men of goodwill are working together to solve the nation’s current challenges.
“As one of the leaders of the APC in the South West, and more so that, he presided over the Asaba meeting of the Southern Governors, nothing could be more spirit-lifting than the outcome of the Lagos meeting on Sunday.
“He, therefore, endorses all the resolutions reached by the leaders who attended the meeting.”
Also, a statement by Fayemi’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, read:“Dr. Fayemi’s absence at the meeting was a result of a mix up in the invitation sent out for the meeting.
“For clarity, the invitation for the meeting which was said to have been sent via Whatsapp by Mr. Tunde Rahman, an aide to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, never got to Governor Fayemi.
“The absence of an invitation for the South West APC leaders meeting prevented the Governor from attending the meeting, as he was not aware.
“Governor Fayemi however sent an apology to the meeting through former Ekiti State Governor and Minister of Industries, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; as he was already scheduled to attend another engagement at the time he came to learn of the meeting.
“Governor Fayemi, as a true democrat and South West leader who is committed to the welfare of the people, is however in total support of the decisions reached by the South West leaders at the meeting which include an endorsement of the positions earlier adopted by the Southern Governors’ Forum on the ban on open grazing and the need for true federalism, among others.”