About five years after Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun, had a parting of ways, the two leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) appeared to be coming together again.
On Friday, the governor hosted a meeting with some associates of Mr Amosun in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Although Mr Amosun was not at the event, a personal aide of his told this newspaper in confidence that the former governor gave his approval for the meeting.
The protracted crisis in the APC began after Mr Abiodun was endorsed by the national leadership of the APC as the party’s governorship candidate despite the nomination of Adekunle Akinlade at a congress of the party organised by the then governor.
Hundreds of loyalists of a former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, said to be from the 20 local government areas of the state, have rejoined the mainstream of the All Progressives Congress led by Governor Dapo Abiodun, Eaglesforesight has learnt.
The returnees were led by the factional chairman of the Amosun-led party, Chief Derin Adebiyi, and were received by Abiodun at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, on Thursday evening.
The duo had been at loggerheads for at least five years, causing a division in the APC in the state. Also, several attempts by party chieftains to reconcile both factions had yet to yield the desired result.
The state APC Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, in a Thursday evening post on his Facebook page gave a hint of a possible reconciliation.
Receiving the returnees, the governor commended them for their loyalty and steadfastness in what they believed in, adding,“I want to congratulate your sense of loyalty to leadership, which I will say is not only commendable but also enviable.
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“This is a culture that we must promote and entrench. It is a culture that is fast eroding; it is a culture that we are fast losing. Loyalty is 100 per cent. For some others, they move once things are not working well, but for you, you stay put.
“This sense of loyalty is worthy of emulation. We must appreciate the fact that there can only be one leader in a party at a time.
“Even when we have ambitions and desires, we must subordinate ourselves 100 per cent to leadership and believe that it is that subordination that will allow us to flourish and achieve our objectives, dreams, desires and aspirations, not by forming factions or by breaking away, because by so doing, it only weakens the fabric of that collective union that we call our party.”
He also stressed that there could be only one leader of a party at a time in a state, and that leader, according to him, is the governor of the state.
The governor urged all members to put the past behind them and work towards repositioning the party to achieve its goals and work for the socio-economic development of the state.
“Let us promote what unites us as a family. I welcome you back. The future of Ogun State is in your hands and it is for our taking. The same joy with which the father of the prodigal son received his lost son back home, the same way I receive you today,” he added.
On his part, the Chairman of the state APC, Chief Yemi Sanusi, called on the returnees to fully integrate themselves with other members of the party.