Saraki, Wike, Tambuwal, Ortom Fine Tune Defection Talks During Repose Prayer For Baraje’s Mother

LAGOS JULY 11TH (NEWSRANGERS)-It was meant to be a gathering to pray for a politician’s mother, but yesterday’s session in Ilorin was more than that.
Politicians latched onto the prayer to smoothen defection talks between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Reformed-All Progressives Congress(R-APC)—the conclave of aggrived APC members.

The secret session was between PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus and some aggrieved APC bigwigs, led by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Also yesterday, former President Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting with former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in Minna.
The two-hour meeting was described as “private”.
Some APC governors, PDP governors and PDP leaders took advantage of the prayer for the repose of the soul of Alhaja Aishat Baraje, the mother of Kawu Baraje, a leader of the R-APC to fine tune the APC men’s defection plan.
APC Deputy National Chairman Lawal Shuaibu (North) and Adeniyi Adebayo (South) attended the prayer but the governors and the PDP chiefs thereafter held a private session at the GRA Ilorin home of the Senate president.
Saraki returned to Ilorin on Tuesday, received by a large crowd – obviously to make a political statement.
At the session were Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Samuel Ortom(Benue) and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), who is also a presidential aspirant.
Others are: Secondus, another presidential aspirant and former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido; Senator Barnabas Gemade; Baraje and Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly Ali Ahmad, among others.
A source at the session, who spoke in confidence, said: “After the prayer session for Baraje’s mother, we felt it necessary to discuss mutual issues bordering on the talks between the PDP and R-APC.
Our talks centred on how some APC and R-APC leaders will join forces in 2019 to change the status quo. It is certainly convenient for PDP at this bend to woo potential defectors who might add value to its electoral value in 2019.
“All these leaders are heavyweights who PDP cannot gloss over. So, the meeting was to consolidate ongoing negotiation ahead of mass defections from APC to the main opposition party.”
The source added: “Of course, you do not need a soothsayer to tell you that Saraki is the biggest fish that the PDP is after. He is also a rallying point of leaders in R-APC and the people of North-Central.”
It was learnt that the PDP had agreed to hand over the structure of the party to Saraki; sharing of party’s position on 60-40 or 40-60 ratio; and the concession of two Senate seats and the governorship slot to Saraki’s camp and R-APC in Kwara.
On Ortom and Gemade, the source said: “The PDP has now opened talks with the Benue governor as part of steps to consolidate its grip on North-Central. We are targeting Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger and the FCT.
“Do you expect the PDP to fold its hands when the governor said he was done with APC and available to any party? The opposition party is wooing him, it is left for him to return to PDP if the terms are acceptable. If Ortom defects, the PDP can conveniently boast of a likely control of four states in the geopolitical zone.
One of the governors confirmed that “issues of common interest on 2019 came up for about one and a half hours.”
“There were proposals here and there but you will know the details in the fullness of time.”
PDP National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said: “We only went to Ilorin to commiserate with Alhaji Kawu Baraje. He is a Nigerian and we are open to all Nigerians. We have the interest of every Nigerian at heart. We also went to Sokoto State to commiserate with the governor and the people of the state but you are not asking questions along this line.”
Ologbondiyan also told our correspondent in Ilorin: “It is a brotherhood meeting. Our leaders met and they shared thoughts on the future of Nigeria and how to improve on the living condition of Nigerians and how to make Nigeria a better place for all to live in.
“It was a convergence of notable Nigerians. Do not forget that the essence of today was to commensurate with Alhaji Baraje on the death of his mother.
“When politicians meet, they must discuss politics and how to improve on the standard of living of Nigerians. It will not be wrong to say that some issues were discussed.”
On Saraki’s planned return to PDP, he said: “I do not know when Saraki and Baraje will publicly declare their defection. I cannot speak on that.”
Ortom, who also visited Ahmed, told reporters that the Benue State APC issued him a red card and he hoped that the national leadership could reverse the decision. He added that the national leadership is the larger body capable of upturning the decision of the state chapter.
Wike said: “We came here to sympathise with Alhaji Abubakar Baraje over the death of his loving mother. We prayed for the family.
“Baraje is a politician and you expect politicians to rally round him at this time that he lost his mother.”
He added: “When you see your colleagues, you need to compare notes and do peer review on what you are doing in your respective states.
“However, we came purposely to engage in the eight days prayers for the late mother of Abubakar Baraje “.
Ahmed said he was yet to take a decision on his political future.
In a statement by his spokesman Dr. Muideen Akorede, the governor said he remained in the APC. “The presence today in Ilorin of Senate President Bukola Saraki, PDP Chairman Prince Uche Secondus, Governor Samuel Ortom, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Governor Nyesom Wike, ex-Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Senator Barnabas Gemade and other prominent political figures was for the burial rites of the late mother of respected politician, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and was not for the purpose of a political realignment.
“While I have not been briefed on any planned defection, I am aware that my principal and other political leaders in the state are gradually being shown the way out of the APC.”
But Secondus’ shuttle to Ilorin caught Kwara PDP leaders unawares. They could not receive him.
State Chairman Chief Iyiola Oyedepo said: “Actually, the National Chairman and the National Organising Secretary spoke with me when they were in Sokoto about their trip to Ilorin.
“They wanted me to meet them at the airport but I was out of town. They told me they were coming to commiserate with Baraje.”
In Abuja, Senator Shehu Sani said: “I can confirm we are talking with the PDP and we are talking with the APC and what is pushing us out of the APC is inherent injustice, marginalisation and inequity that have visited us. We have been treated badly by the party in the last three years. But we appreciate the fact that we have a chairman, in the person of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“We are also exploring options of getting out of the party or remain in the party. So, the issue is still on discussion. Our decisions will be in a matter of weeks and not in the matter of months where we are going to review whether we will remain in the party or we will go to cross the red sea out of Egypt to the promised land.
“It is very clear that we should vote for people, irrespective of their political affiliation, those who can deliver us out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. We should move away from that thinking that one political party can solve the problems of Nigeria.
“The challenge is the crisis and the problems we face as a nation today cannot be addressed without a national consensus and without a collective approach to our national problems.
“In a situation where we think the President has monopoly of wisdom and the solution to the problems, we are simply deceiving ourselves. President Muhammadu Buhari alone cannot solve the problem of Nigeria. It is important for him to be honest and understand that. It is also important for the APC to understand that.”
But a chieftain of the APC in Kaduna, Alhaji Kailani Mohammed, said the 2019 presidential race would be a walkover for President Muhammadu Buhari despite the “gang-up against him”.
He said greedy and selfish politicians were behind the killings in the North Central region.
Mohammad, an ally of President Buhari, said selfish politicians were causing the insecurity to discredit Buhari’s administration.
Mohammed, who was the Chairman “Buhari Votes Guard and Awareness”, said.
“It is alleged that politicians sponsor thugs and hoodlums who are responsible for most community skirmishes and killings in the country that have sent many Nigerians to the great beyond.
“In this direction, the police have invited President of the Senate Bukola Saraki over an allegation that he sponsored some political thugs that have been unleashing terror in Kwara State,” he said, adding that the revelation by the leader of the Middle Belt Peace Network, Jayeola Mohammed, that Senator Jonah Jang, a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Plateau State Governor, once vowed to make Plateau ungovernable for Lalong is something that is worrisome.
“Mohammed further claimed that Jang, who was recently arrested by the DSS over issues bordering on corruption and abuse of office, had sworn to extinguish the peace of Plateau State and enshrine anguish and despair by empowering youths in the area with weapons.
“Security agencies should rise up to this challenge and ensure that those who kill daily to promote and protect their political hemisphere must be brought to book. It is quite disheartening that our politicians have turned themselves into security threats in the country. They use human lives as shield to promote their political ambitions.
“Human lives should not be devalued by killings as part of political games. No matter how highly placed, offenders must be prosecuted and adequate justice be meted out to serve as deterrents to others of like minds.
“No Nigerian is bigger than the law. It is time for government to wield the big sick against vicious politicians who daily foment trouble for the country and her peoples so that the rest of us smaller mortals will be secured from the high and mighty,
“All these they are doing to discredit this government, but God and the masses of Nigeria are behind President Muhammadu Buhari. By God’s grace, 2019 presidential election will be a walk over for President Buhari, despite the gang up against him,” Mohammed said.
Culled from TheNation

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Posted by on Jul 19 2018. Filed under National, State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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