The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, have thrown their weight behind the resolutions of leaders of the South-west, which among others rejected separatist agitations in the region.
Fayemi also apologised for his absence from the meeting, which held on Sunday in Lagos.
The southwest leaders had at their meeting told separatist agitators in the region to back off.
While endorsing the resolutions of the southern governors banning open grazing and demanding a national dialogue, the leaders also called on the federal government to devolve more powers to the states.
Reacting to the leaders’ communiqué, Akeredolu, who was also absent from the meeting, said he was in support of the outcome of the meeting.
Akeredolu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Richard Olatunde, said lack of timeous communication aside from mix-up, was largely responsible for his inability to attend the meeting.
The governor, nonetheless, described the parley as commendable and timely.
He said: “Akeredolu would have loved to be present at the meeting for several reasons. Far more important, the issues distilled bordered on the Southern governors’ Asaba Declaration.
“However, a slight mix-up and communication gap had caused his unintended absence even as an earlier engagement had been fixed for Ibadan weeks before the meeting.
“Nonetheless, the resolutions reached by the revered leaders at the Lagos meeting are quite commendable and timely. The issues discussed are germane and are clear indications that men of goodwill are working together to solve the nation’s current challenges.
“As one of the leaders of the APC in the South-west, and more so that, he presided over the Asaba meeting of the Southern governors, nothing could be more spirit-lifting than the outcome of the Lagos meeting on Sunday.
“He, therefore, endorses all the resolutions reached by the leaders who attended the meeting.”
Fayemi stated that he had apologised for not attending the meeting.
Fayemi said he supported the resolutions of the leaders, clarifying that his absence from the meeting was as a result of a mix-up in the invitation sent out for the meeting.
Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said: “For clarity, the invitation for the meeting, which was said to have been sent via WhatsApp by Mr. Tunde Rahman, an aide to Senator Bola Tinubu, never got to Governor Fayemi.
“The absence of an invitation for the South-west APC leaders meeting prevented the governor from attending the meeting, as he was not aware.
“Governor Fayemi, however, sent an apology to the meeting through former Ekiti State Governor and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Chief Niyi Adebayo; as he was already scheduled to attend another engagement at the time he came to learn of the meeting.”
He said as a true democrat, he was in total support of the decisions reached by the South-west leaders at the meeting.
“These decisions included an endorsement of the positions earlier adopted by the Southern Governors’ Forum on the ban on open grazing and the need for true federalism, among others,” he said.
James Sowole in Akure and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti