Governors and leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southwest converged on Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Thursday, to strategise on ways to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the leaders and party members.

The closed-door meeting, which lasted for about five hours at the Governor’s Office, attracted virtually all elected and appointed leaders of the party from the zone, except the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, who was said to have travelled out of the country.

A former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, who briefed the press after the meeting, said that the leaders met to chart a new path for the party’s growth and dominance at the zonal and national levels.

He told journalists that the leaders had closed ranks and had taken positions on burning national issues and governance, details of which he did not disclose.

Osoba said, “We met principally to discuss issues affecting Southwest in all ramifications and we have come out with a resolution to say that there is unity of purpose in the Southwest APC; the leadership is one; we are all together on all issues.

“We examined all the issues concerning the governance of this country and what should be the role and influence that we should exercise as a group, in the interest and the progress of our country. We have examined the activities and achievements of the central government that we were all involved in putting in place and we have resolved on all the issues.

“Some of the issues deliberated upon would be taken to Abuja for urgent action of Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari), while we have related with our members in the National and State Assemblies, as well as at the state and local levels of our party hierarchy.

“All these issues were discussed exhaustively and we have related with all our governors with the resolution, which is that from now onward there will be total harmony and consultation among our governors for the development of Southwest of Nigeria.”

Osoba restated what he called the leadership position of the APC Southwest in the country, adding that the party honchos were determined to reassert their interest in the progressive politics of the country.

At the meeting were governors elected on the platform of the party in the Southwest: host, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State); Mr. Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos State); and Mr. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State).

Others were the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni; National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Chief Pius Akinyelure; and a former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande.

The list included the Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; Senator Olusola Adeyeye; Minister of Communication, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Financer, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Health Minister, Prof Isaac Adewole; and Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Apart from Osoba, a former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Niyi Adebayo; and a former Governor of Osun State, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, were also present at the gathering; while two resource academics, Profs. Ropo Sekoni and John Ayoade, contributed to the discourse.