All may not be well within the ranks of Speakers of Houses of Assembly in South-West region over the actualization of the presidential ambition of National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2023.
At a meeting organized by the BAT Foundation in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, the Speakers including former Heads of legislative houses agreed that they needed to rally behind the National Leader to realize the Tinubu 2023 project.
It was believed that all of the current speakers of the houses of assembly in the region who are members of the APC were part of the decision but Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye, said he was excluded from the meeting.
He insisted that he was not aware of any meeting of the speakers in the South-West geopolitical zone where they expressed their support for the rumoured 2023 presidential ambition of former governor of Lagos State.
“I’m not aware of any meeting, neither was I invited to any such meeting. I can therefore not speak to any meeting I’m not privy or invited to,” Afuye told Punch.
However, investigation from The Street Journal revealed that the Speaker was actually invited but deliberately stayed away.
“His absence was political; we knew the Speaker would not show up,” a source close to the Speaker of Lagos Mudashiru Obasa said.
“He is loyal to his Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is also nursing an ambition to contest for the 2023 Presidential election. We know that Fayemi who is a former protégé of Asiwaju has since joined forces with those who are working hard to destabilize Tinubu political dynasty. So Afuye can be excused; he couldn’t have served two masters.”
Speaking at the Ibadan meeting, Obasa said there was the need for the body of Speakers and former Speakers to begin a move aimed at projecting the political and humanitarian sides of Tinubu ahead of 2023.
Although Obasa said Tinubu was involved in the mobilisation, he noted that the motivation was that each of the speakers at the meeting had personal and beneficial relationship with the political leader, saying the foundation was primarily created to touch lives the same vein that the BAT movement was aimed at supporting Tinubu politically.
There were 20 current and former speakers from across the six states in the zone who attended the meeting.