By Okunade Adekunle
A former Commissioner for Home Affairs in Lagos state during the administration of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Dr Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, has returned to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) barely a week of announcing his resignation from the party after officially declaring to run for governorship in 2023.
Abdullateef resigned his membership of the party over the refusal of some leaders of the party to support his political movement, IYEPE MOVEMENT ahead of the 2023 governorship ambition.
Reliable sources disclosed to WESTERN POST that since his resignation, the party leadership had been making efforts to ensure Abdullateef returns to APC.
One of his close aides said, “Since when Abdullateef tendered his resignation from APC, the party leadership most especially the state party chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun has been making efforts to convene meeting with him so as to resolve any differences that might have warranted his resignation.”
The close aide said that the outcome of the meeting with party leadership would determine the next move for Abdullateef and his followers.
The former commissioner’s return to APC came after the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) leaders who felt the party’s house cannot continue to be divided on issues that could easily be addressed and resolved through the party’s internal mechanism met with Abdullateef.
It was gathered that the party leaders present at the meeting held on Wednesday at GRA in Ikeja, explained that Abdullateef’s concerns were understandable, hence the move to address the grievances that led to his resignation was important.
During the meeting, Abdullateef was assured of the party’s unalloyed commitment towards his vision of ensuring Lagosians experience improved standards in all spheres of human endeavours and that the party was ready to support moves aimed at galvanising more members to strengthen APC chances during subsequent elections.
The GAC also reconciled the former commissioner and some party leaders who were said to have opposed Abdullateef’s political movement, adding that it was pertinent for all members to close ranks and work in unison for the party’s success.
Speaking after the meeting, a source informed WESTERN POST that the move by GAC was to ensure some bigwigs who were known for competence and easily drive supports for the party were not lost to minor differences.
“Hon. Iyepe is a blessing to the party. He has done much to move the party forward. We cannot at this time allow him to just go like that. If there are issues, we resolve them. That is why the machinery of GAC was put in place to amicably resolve differences,” the source said.
Also speaking, another source commended the GAC leaders for the move, adding that a grass-root mobilizer in a person of Abdullateef should not be sacrificed on ambition basis.
“His kind is rare in the party. He has for a long time combined party’s affiliation with religious propagation and has not been found wanting. He is a big fish in the party and commands large followers. We cannot allow such a person to leave our party due to issues we can sit on a round table to iron out. I commend the party leaders for taking a bold step to quickly bring him back to our fold,” he said.
Those in attendance at the meeting were Lagos APC chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun; leaders of GAC, including Prince Tajudeen Olusi; former Deputy Governor Abiodun Ogunleye, Prince Rabiu Oluwa, Alhaji Bushira Alebiosu, and Omoba Murphy Adetoro, among others.
Recalled that Abdullateef had officially declared to run for Lagos governorship in 2023 and had as well put up a political movement known as IYEPE 2023 MOVEMENT to mobilise support for his ambition.