The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who is at loggerheads with his party’s national leadership, on Monday led a leader of an opposition party to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Amosun and the chairman of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) also delivered a letter to the president, endorsing the candidature of Mr Buhari for next year’s presidential election.
The Ogun governor is instead supporting the APM governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, and state house of assembly candidates of the APM.
Mr Akinlade and many other Ogun candidates of the APM are loyalists of Mr Amosun who defected to the opposition party after they failed to secure the APC tickets. Mr Amosun has blamed the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and ex-governors Bola Tinubu and Segun Osoba, for his ordeal.
Despite warnings by Mr Oshiomhole and the APC national leadership, Mr Amosun has continued to frolick with the APM and on Monday led its leader to meet with the president.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the letter endorsing President Buhari’s re-election was presented to the president by Mr Amosun, who was accompanied by the APM Chairman, Yusuf Dantalle, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with the president, Mr Amosun said the endorsement letter was given to him by the party for onward presentation to the president.
He expressed optimism that with the endorsement, Mr Buhari, whom he described as a man with a good heart, would garner massive votes in the 2019 presidential elections.
“You will recall that just last week we made public that APM has adopted President Buhari as their presidential candidate.
“I had promised to bring the letter they had given me to present to him and that is what we came to do today. And you know Mr President is a very gracious human being, he is a man with a good heart.
“He (Buhari) said if a party has adopted him, it is only fair he acknowledges the party and the chairman. That is why we are here,” the governor, a close ally of the president, said.
He justified his support for the APM by saying the party had endorsed Mr Buhari and therefore deserves his support.
“I have said that anybody that is for President Muhammadu Buhari is for me, we will embrace such party, such persons, such organisations, wholeheartedly and that is what I am doing and that is what we are doing in Ogun State.
“Clearly Mr President will have a massive vote in Ogun State in the coming election.”
Mr Amosun, who vowed to ensure electoral victory for President Buhari in Ogun during the 2019 general election, however, refused to comment on the threat by Mr Oshiohmole to expel him from the APC.
“I don’t want to comment on that. We came for this, let’s restrict ourselves to this. I want my president to win, what else do you want? We must win, that is it.”
In his remarks, Mr Dantalle described the adoption of Mr Buhari by the APM as the best thing that happened to the party and the country at large.
According to him, the APM is a coalition of people of like minds and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party took the decision to adopt Mr Buhari because he is the only one that can restore Nigeria back to its glory of where it needs to be.
He said: “Personally, I believe in him and reason being that I love my country and I don’t have any other country apart from Nigeria.
“And Buhari is the only man with the sincerity of intent to take Nigeria to the next level. This is not the Nigeria I was born into but I see that Nigeria coming back only through Buhari.”
On what informed the decision to adopt Mr Buhari, the APM national chairman said the party took the decision to adopt Mr Buhari because it believes he is the only one that can restore Nigeria back to its glory of where it needs to be.
Mr Dantalle expressed the hope that Mr Buhari would win the 2019 presidential election in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with a wide margin.