The Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Mr Tunde Balogun, has disclosed that the founding fathers of the party had an agreement in 2014 that the South-West geopolitical zone will produce the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
He said it would be “dishonourable” for the party to jettison the agreement now, adding that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and many other persons made the “gentleman’s agreement”.
There have been insinuations among some party members and chieftains that the resolutions of the National Executive Committee meeting, presided over by Buhari on Tuesday, was a ploy by some party chieftains to hijack the control of the party for personal interest, including scheming towards 2023.
The NEC approved the extension of the six-month tenure of the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee for another six months. It also approved the immediate dissolution of the party organs at the polling units, wards, local government, states and zonal levels as well as the non-National Working Committee component of the National Executive Committee.
It thereafter approved their immediate reconstitution and composition of the dissolved excos to serve in their respective offices in a caretaker committee capacity, excluding the non-NWC members of NEC.
But speaking with our correspondent on Saturday, Balogun said, “In 2014, the founding fathers of APC had a gentleman’s agreement and they committed themselves to the agreement. The party was victorious because they honoured the agreement they made and everyone worked together for the party in 2015 and 2019.
“According to the 2014 agreement, the South-West should be the zone to produce the presidential candidate in 2023. Among them (those present) were President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu.
“What I want is for this agreement to be honoured by the founding fathers. I have no doubt in my mind that they are men of honour. An agreement was reached and that agreement produced Buhari as the President in 2015 and 2019, so to jettison the agreement now will be dishonourable.
“As I said, they are men of honour and I hope they will honour the agreement. They know what I’m talking about. Anything different from following the agreement is like shifting the goalpost.”
When asked the other parties to the agreement, Balogun declined. Asked if he also believed that the NEC resolutions were aimed at thwarting the 2014 agreement, he maintained that doing anything contrary to the agreement “is like shifting the goal post”.