Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday said there will be no automatic ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari to vie for the presidency under the banner of the APC in 2019.
The APC national leader was also received by a large crowd of party supporters from where he proceeded to the residence of the leader of Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Reuben Fasoranti, where a meeting was held.
Tinubu was at the meeting with the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, his deputy, Agboola Ajayi and the Acting Chairman of the APC in the state, Ade Ademehin.
Tinubu, who ruled out an automatic ticket for Buhari, however, said the constitution of the party accommodates the right of the president to seek the mandate of the party for re-election.
Following the decision, Governor Ortom declared that, "For 2019, there is no credible presidential candidate for the APC other than Buhari".
He said, "No governors can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves", adding, "an individual or group's opinion does not really matter at this stage".
However, he said no law would be violated if the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party and APC members endorse Buhari as the party's sole candidate.
Tinubu added that "We wanted him even before the last convention and primaries of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me he was not the governor then".
"Akeredolu was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear victor". Buhari will want a normal process - Buhari that I know. "Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not stopped anybody from aspiring or contesting", Tinubu said.
Tinubu, who met with the nonagenarian Afenifere leader behind closed doors, said the visit was in recognition of Pa Fasoranti as the leader of Omoluwabi in Yoruba land.
On why he was in Akure at this period to meet with the Yoruba leaders, Tinubu said he was there to acknowledge the leadership of Pa Reuben Fasoranti as a great leader of the Omoluwabis (responsible or respectable people).
TVC's Ayodeji Moradeyo reports that Tinubu arrived the Akure Airport in Ondo State at around 12.40 in the afternoon.
There were also Chief Olu Falae, Afenifere Secretary Chief Seinde Arogbofa, Dr. Tunji Abayomi and others.
The leader of the Afenifere group, Fasonrati, described the visit of Tinubu as a sign of good things to come to the Yoruba race, noting that the meeting will further foster great understanding among the Yoruba people and states. I think we can now move forward and work together by charting a new course and have a clear-cut policy in our groups.
He noted that he chose to pay a visit as a mark of respect and to seek some advice and prayers from the Afenifere leader. As it is now, there will be great understanding among the leaders as Tinubu is a leader in his own right. "This signals that we will come together", Fasoranti stated.
Rochas had made his comments Tuesday while addressing leaders of the Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 2019, stating that, "I am a believer of Buhari and I made it clear years ago that if President Buhari is running for president, I will not run".
"His [Fasoranti] intellect is still very intact, and I am here to seek his advice and understanding with prayers", he said.