A national Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, and the party’s immediate past interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, boycotted a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party which held on Friday due to lack of proper communication from the party’s leadership, PREMIUM TIMES understands.
Both leaders were conspicoulsy absent at Friday’s meeting. The APC spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, did not exactly explain why they were not present.
Mr. Mohammed had, while responding to inquiries on the absence of the two leaders, said that Messrs. Tinubu and Akande were not members of NEC and that it was the prerogative of the party leaders to invite those who were not NEC members to the meeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, while making his comments at the opening session of the NEC, paid encomiums on Mr. Akande as the first chairman of the party and how he worked with “dexterity” to put the party on a strong pedestal, which gave it success.
Mr. Buhari thanked Mr. Akande on behalf of all APC members and said, “it’s a pity he is not here with us”.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered Mr. Tinubu actually made plans to attend the meeting and, indeed, was in Abuja for that purpose.
“Asiwaju called Papa Akande on Thursday and asked him if he was attending the NEC meeting and Akande asked him if he received any invitation, to which Tinubu said no.
“Papa said why should you go to a meeting you have not been invited?” a source close to the two leaders told PREMIUM TIMES.
The decision by the two leaders to stay away from Friday’s meting was the clearest indidcation yet that they were not happy with recent events within the APC.
It has been widely reported that the former Lagos Governor was strongly supporting the candidature of Messrs. Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila to emerge as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
Mr. Akande, a longstanding political ally of Mr. Tinubu, recently wrote an open letter in which he said that Messrs. Saraki and Yakubu Dogara who defied the party to emerge as Senate president Speaker of the House respectively were sponsored by some oil barons and “some elements in the north”.
Our source informed us Saturday that although Mr. Akande eventually received his invitation to the NEC meeting “around 9pm on Thursday, it was too late in the day for him to attend”.
He also said Mr. Akande did not get back to Mr. Tinubu to let him know that he had received his invitation late.
Indications that Mr. Tinubu was invited for the meeting was that a seat was reserved for him with a name tag in front, which remained empty throughout the duration of the meeting.
Messrs. Tinubu and Akande could not be reached for comments for this report.
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