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2023: Southwest leaders to meet Tinubu, Osinbajo, others Friday

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Southwest leaders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) have scheduled a meeting with presidential aspirants from the zone.

The party’s founding Chairman Chief Bisi Akande and former Ogun State Governor Chief Olusegun Osoba, and other stakeholders are the conveners of the parley billed for Lagos State Government House in Marina, on Friday.

Expected to attend are: APC stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

The invitees have all declared interest to contest for the president.

The conveners of the meeting, according to WesternPost, an online publication, are said to be worried about the bad blood already generated by the ambition of the aspirants.

Fayemi to run

A statement by Fayemi’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairman will declare today in Abuja.

The declaration is the height of Fayemi’s consultation after making his intention known to President Muhammadu Buhari last month.

Also tomorrow, Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio will declare for president today.

The one-time Akwa Ibom governor had on April 13 denied being in the race for the APC presidential ticket.

Akpabio, who was accompanied by another chieftain of the party from Akwa Ibom State, Chief Don Etiebet, told reporters at the APC National Secretariat: “People have mentioned my name. You know I’m a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I work with a focused President and I’m determined to ensure that he ends well.

“So, my job as a Minister of Niger Delta is to continue to interact with stakeholders for the Niger Delta.”

“As you have seen me, I’m with one of my leaders, Chief of Niger Delta, Don Etiebet. We want to continue to interact with each other, discuss issues and ensure the peace of that region and I can tell you that south-south Nigeria today, is one of the peaceful regions in the country and we want to keep it.

“So, there is no doubt that my job has not ended, my job is to continue to support Mr. President, not just to ensure the completion of his legacy projects but also to ensure that his projects and legacy lead beyond 2023.”

But on Monday, Akpabio’s media aide, Anietie Ekong, confirmed the minister’s intention to declare today.

“Yes, it is true. He Akpabio will declare on Wednesday (today),” Ekong said.

Last Wednesday, former Ogun State Governor Amosun notified the Senate of his intention to publicly declare to run tomorrow.

Amosun wrote in a letter to Senate President Ahmad Lawan: “It is with the greatest respect that I write to notify you and my distinguished colleagues of my intention to contest for the Office of President of our dear country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to respectfully invite you and my Distinguished Colleagues to the formal declaration ceremony.”

Also popular cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has declared interest in the presidential race.

The founder of Citadel Global Community Church (formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly), declared his interest at the ‘Unveiling Project 16 to Nigerians in diaspora’ event tagged: “The portrait is a new Nigeria”.

He described the past administrations as “cake eaters” adding that it is time to have the 16th administration of “cake bakers.”

The activist-pastor is expected to declare next Monday.

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