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Fayemi, Akeredolu give reasons for their absence at Southwest APC Leaders’ meeting

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The Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi and his counterpart, the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu said their absence at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Southwest leaders meeting was as a result of mix-ups in their invitation to the meeting.

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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, amongst others, had met on Sunday in Lagos State to discuss topical national issues.

The leaders had backed Southern governors’ open grazing ban, call for restructuring, state policing, amongst others.

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However, Fayemi, through his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, on Monday, said he “wholeheartedly supports” the stance of APC leaders despite that he didn’t receive an invitation to the meeting.

Oyebode noted that Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, later got to know about the meeting but it was too late.

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The statement was titled, ‘Fayemi Endorses Outcome Of Southwest APC Leaders’ Meeting… Says Mix Up In Invitation Responsible For His Absence’.

The statement read, “Dr. Fayemi’s absence at the meeting was as 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.

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“The absence of an invitation for the Southwest 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 Southwest leader who is committed to the welfare of the people, is however in total support of the decisions reached by the Southwest 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.”

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Meanwhile, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo who was also absent at the meeting attributed the cause to “a slight mix-up and communication gap.”

A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said;

“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.

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“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 Southwest, 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.”

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Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

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