The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governorship Campaign in Ondo State, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong, on Monday said the absence of the party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and some South West governors at the party’s rally in Akure on Saturday did not make any difference.
He said since President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, were present at the rally, there was no cause for alarm.
Lalong who is the Plateau State Governor spoke with State House correspondents shortly after he and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, met Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Tinubu and Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) were conspicuously absent at the rally held at the Democracy Park in Akure on Saturday.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State was the only APC state governor in the South West who attended the rally.
Tinubu and other governors who did not attended are believed not to be in support of the party’s candidate in the Saturday election, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.
But Lalong said their absence was not a problem to the party.
He said, “That (their absence) 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.”
The governor expressed confidence that the APC would emerge victorious in the Saturday election.
He said he and Fayemi were at the Presidential Villa to thank Buhari for making time out to attend the rally personally.
“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.
“It is other parties that are scared of the APC and not APC being scared of other parties.
“We have come to thank the President for going to Ondo for the grand finale rally,” he said.