The National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, is battling with ill-health and that explained his curious absence at the party’s mega rally in Ondo State last Saturday, according to the Chairman of the APC National Campaign Committee for the Ondo Governorship Election, Gov Simon Lalong.
Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau State, revealed this to State House Correspondents on Monday after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari to thank him for attending the Akure rally.
He said Tinubu, the former Lagos State governor, sent his apologies for not attending the rally owing to the undisclosed ailment and that other party leaders prayed for his quick recovery.
He stressed that Tinubu’s absence from the rally, however, along with some South West governors, did not make any big difference during the rally as the party remained focused on winning the election to install an APC government in the state now occupied by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, “The absence of Tinubu and the others was not a problem. We explained their absence. They sent in their apologies. You heard what happened there.
“As far as we are concerned, the President who is the leader of the party was at the rally. The National Chairman was also there, as far as we are concerned, everybody was there.
“To the party, their absence did not make any difference. If a leader was not there and he has said he was not there because of ill-health, we have prayed that God will heal him.”
Lalong could, however, not explain the absence of other South West APC leaders and governors at the rally, like Governor Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).
The absence of Tinubu and others marked the highpoint of the internal crisis rocking the party over the poll.
Tinubu’s preferred candidate for the election, Segun Abraham, lost out to Rotimi Akeredolu, in a controversial primary election, a development that prompted the South West political godfather to demand the resignation of APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
On the party’s chances at the poll, Lalong said, “We have finished our campaign. You saw what happened at the grand finale. We are not in doubt that APC will win the election in Ondo.