South-West governors are divided over the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshimohole, The PUNCH has learnt.
All the six governors from the zone are members of the APC.
Our correspondents learnt that while some are committed to ensuring Oshiomhole’s removal as a result of the crisis generated by the party’s recent primary elections, others are against the alleged move.
Those against Oshiomhole’s removal are said to be the governors in the camp of the party’s National Leader who is also a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
They include the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; and Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, have been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole over the failure of the party’s National Working Committee to endorse their preferred candidates in both governorship and National Assembly primary elections.
The two governors, in a last-minute move, had met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.
They were however joined by Fayemi, an indication that the Ekiti State Governor may be on the same page with his colleagues from Ogun and Ondo.
However, a source close to Fayemi said the former minister did not have issues with the Oshiomole-led National Working Committee.
The source however said that both Amosun and Akeredolu reminded him that the former governor of Edo State could have moved against him if he (Oshiomhole) had been in office when the primary election that produced him as the APC governorship candidate was held.
The source added that both Amosun and Akeredolu played major roles to ensure that the rules were not bent when there were moves to change the mode of the primary that produced Fayemi midway.
The source also said that the two governors of Ondo and Ogun states also decided to seek the intervention of Fayemi because of his closeness to the President.
The source said, “You are aware that there were moves to change from indirect to direct primary when hoodlums hijacked the first process of the APC governorship primary where Fayemi was leading.
“Perhaps, this would have been successfully done if Oshiomhole were to be in office. We know those behind the plot then. The same set of people may have been the ones working against the interest of both Amosun and Akeredolu.
“Don’t forget that Amosun and Akeredolu also played major roles in the campaigns and election of Fayemi. While there were those who merely sang songs at the party’s mega rally where the President was present, these two men campaigned vigorously for the APC and Fayemi. Therefore, the governor might as well consider it immoral to abandon them when they are facing issues in their states.”
A Presidency source also said it was clear that the issue had divided the governors.
He said, “We all know the position of Governor Amosun and Governor Akeredolu as far as the crisis and the fate of the national chairman is concerned.
“Despite their calls for the removal of the party chairman, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has made his position clear that Oshiomhole goes nowhere. With Tinubu’s position, you will expect naturally that Ambode and Aregbesola won’t join Amosun and Akeredolu in this journey. You also expect Ajimobi not to join the fray.
“I am not too sure of where Fayemi belongs, especially because he visited the President with Amosun and Akeredolu but it is clear that meeting was against Oshiomhole and the NWC.”
A source close to Aregbesola who spoke on condition of anonymity also agreed that there was no way the governor will be part of a meeting “that will be against Asiwaju or his interest.”