The national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the statement credited to Chief Bisi Akande, that the party’s presidential ticket for 2019 election was open to all was a personal opinion which did not reflect the party's stand.
Oyegun stated this in response to Akande's comment while speaking to Thisday via a phone interview.
“That’s his personal view. He said what he felt. There is really nothing to comment about – nothing. That is his personal view,” Oyegun said.
Akande's comment had given the impression that the ruling party was not united ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
Oyegun had declared in May that the party would give Buhari right of first refusal for the party’s presidential ticket in 2019.
Akande made the comment at the end of a stakeholders meeting of southwest APC leaders on Thursday, October 12.
The meeting which was held at the Oyo state government house, had in attendance governors, National Assembly members, ministers and other senior members of the APC in the region.
Responding to a question from a journalist about the position of the party on Buhari’s speculated second term ambition, Akande had stated thus: “He has not told us he is running in 2019. Anybody in our party is free to become the president of Nigeria as long as he indicates interest.
“We have a process through which a candidate will be selected. If he is lucky to get the ticket, then we have no option than to present him as our candidate.”
The meeting, which lasted four hours, had in attendance Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo state), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos state), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun state), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun state), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo state), former governors Adebayo Alao-Akala, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Olusegun Osoba, Adeniyi Adebayo and Kayode Fayemi, who is also the current minister of solid minerals development.
Others were the minister of communications; Adebayo Shittu, minister of state for Niger Delta; Claudius Daramola, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives; Lasun Yusuff and House Majority Leader; Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.