Buhari, Tinubu, Tambuwal Hold Secret Meeting on 2015……This Day

Former Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 general election, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu, a few days ago, may have held a private meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.

But as the opposition coalition comprising CPC, ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which is merging to form the All Progressives Congress (APC), sets its sights on 2015, President Goodluck Jonathan is also making moves to cover his flanks as the election approaches.

In this regard, THISDAY learnt that the president hosted some select Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to a private dinner last night at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where it is believed that issues concerning the party was discussed.

However, it was gathered that the secret meeting, which might have taken place last week between the two leaders of the merging opposition parties and Tambuwal at a private residence in Abuja, is not unconnected to efforts by the opposition to woo the speaker to their party.

The meeting was deemed a strategic gambit by the opposition to get Tambuwal to defect from the ruling PDP on whose platform he was elected to the House of Representatives, to the yet-to-be registered APC as the opposition party’s possible presidential contender in 2015.

It was also learnt that the APC is already considering the zoning of political offices and might zone the presidency to the North-west, Tambuwal’s geopolitical zone.

THISDAY further gathered that the APC is mulling the idea of zoning either the vice-presidential ticket or senate presidency to the South-west zone.The interim agreement reached at the meeting was that if the senate presidency is zoned to the South-west, then the Office of the Vice-President would be zoned to the South-east.

According to an inside source within the coalition of opposition parties, the decision to allocate the senate presidency to the South-west was being done to pave the way for Tinubu to enter the senatorial contest in Lagos and bank on his past stint as a ranking senator to emerge as senate president.

Should this go according to script, sources said Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi, who is currently the senator representing Lagos Central, will be expected to give up her seat to enable her husband contest.

Though it was uncertain whether Tambuwal has committed to jettisoning the PDP for APC, sources said Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, was seriously considered as the speaker’s possible running mate, but the idea was discarded on the grounds that he is a Muslim.

“Given the current mood of the nation, the party cannot field a Muslim-Muslim ticket right now; otherwise, the pairing (Tambuwal-Fashola) would have been a marriage made in heaven. As a result, the vice-presidential slot has been reserved for the South-east for now,” explained the source.

THISDAY gathered that before the meeting with Tambuwal, APC had considered the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir el-Rufai.

But the source said: “They were seen as too controversial and unmarketable in the north,” hence the need to look elsewhere.In a related development, the president last night hosted about 15 PDP governors to a private dinner, leaving out eight governors elected on the party’s platform. In all, the PDP has 23 governors.

Although it was not clear why the invitation was not extended to all PDP governors, one governor who spoke to THISDAY said: “There was no formal letter as usual; we were contacted to be the guest of the president to a private dinner by him personally.

“I cannot state categorically the other governors who were invited, but from the calls I made, only 15 were invited.”

On what they would discuss during dinner, the governor said: “Let me not put the cart before the horse, let us wait till the outcome of the meeting.”

The governor also revealed that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) would be meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues affecting the forum. One of the issues that might be tabled is the forthcoming election of its chairman slated for next month.

Rivers State Governor and current chairman of the forum, Chibuike Amaechi, is seeking re-election, but the presidency is opposed to his re-election bid.

JD:The race to 2015 has started in earnest and one would naturally expect various strategic moves from all involved.I agree with this report that Tambuwal might be a better candidate to work with as opposed to the two loose canons of Ribadu and El Rufai. Remember politics and good governance is not totally about what is right and wrong.It also calls for flexibility and compromise .Tambuwal seems to have a more mature mien in the political terrain.Also it is near impossible to choose Fashola as accommodation has to be made for the South East.In the political terrain,the South West “has had its turn” with eight years of Obasanjo’s tenure.How Tinubu now fits into the equation is what sets me thinking. Wouldn’t it have been better for the main actors in the merger to take a back seat and lets have a fresh beginning? Wouldn’t Tinubu’s emergence lead to to others asking for their “spoils of war”?But as they say,24 hours in politics is like a year in the eyes of us “lesser mortals”.Its early days yet

2 Comments

  1. Hi Uncle Jimi,

    I was a bit confused with your comment on older people and Buhari this morning, deviating from your biblical quote of Thursday from Proverbs. Yes, every one is clamouring for the youths to take over the banton of leadership in naija but we have to be careful in the manner we project this because it shouldnt be on a platter of gold. Take a look at all available positions of leadership: from governors, commissioners, both state/federal house of assemblies, ministers, councillors, chairmen of LG etc….very good significant numbers are youths (say 55-50, 49-40, 39-35 etc).. are they actually differ from their godfathers?

    I quite agree with you when you said the Presidents of most develop nations today are youths (55-40) but we should also understands that in those nations are working Institutions that ensures deliveries of quality products and services for the common good of citizens in respective of who is the president. These institutions were built by the olds and it shouldnt be a surprise that the older generations are now comfortable to allow the youths to take over because the solutions to their today problems are high tech and vibrant leaders are needed to think fast. Most governors and leaders of house of assemblings came when they were 37 -43 and spent 8 yrs..so what did they give in returns…

    In Nigeria, we have issues in developing our basic infrastructures talkless of working Institutions. Our political campaign is more of building roads, drainages, dams, electricity, agriculture etc…basic needs since independence..even the so called youths lied to us during campaign which most did not help fulfilled when voted in..less than 20% of our youths as governors are performing..some of them are even worst than the older generations..all they know how to do is to terrorize us.

    What i had prefer to hear from you this morning is to discuss on the challenges in our environment that are inimical to progress (1) The Deceit by those leading and ruling us (2) Insecerity and no committment from those saddled with leadership to support the growth of Nigeria (3) Manipulation of the majority to think in a failed direction (4) Corruption that has built a tabernacle in naija (5) Outright stealing and looting (6) non-challant on the part of nigerians that the nation can work (7) Most Nigerians and youths find it difficult to believe that they can have a President that will not steal – because this new generation have not witness such in a long time (8) Insecurity.

    In proverb 29:2, when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice but when the wicked are in power the people groan. Proverb 29:16 when the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases but the wicked will see their fall.

    For me we have very few known men of integrity in leadership, both old and new. In this stage of our development, we need someone that will not obviously loot, a nigerian that would show to the rest of us that looting is not an option and that hardwork pays. Someone that will not steal and will prevent others around him to steal, someone that has mind of his own..someone that can tell the Tinubus, Otedolas, Dangotes etc to go to hell when pressed upon to go against the interest of the people, someone accountable and take ownership…someone that understands the important of security to development, someone that will ensure electricity and production of goods/services/agricultures/education, someone that respect the feelings of others, someone that will not compete with his subordinates and will not see them as threat, someone that will allow naija to develop her full potential, someone that will add value and ensure our value systems….

    We should all pray to God to confuse the leadership of APC to pick a leader as their presidential candidate (old or new, provided is of the Lord) that fear Him and will rule with the fear of God to deliver the people of naija….we dont need hitech president for now, it will come later. Someone that would set the pace for the jet age. Let’s first pass through the fulfilment of the basic needs of life….

    Nigerians are groaning for good governance. In Germany, USA, Japan, Britain etc…the era of the olds worked hard for free run working Institutions and their olds sincerely toil for their today’s youths….Nigerian needs leaders that will toil for their youths.

    God bless Nigeria.

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  2. Mr. JD
    I also listened with rapt attention this morning on the need of youths to come into government.I believe the youths have been given the opportunity on various occasions and i want to refer to the number 4 position given to a youth.

    i am actually talking about Dimeji Bankole; we all know the story. i believe the most competent individual be saddled with leadership responsibilities in our country. This individual must be relatively matured to handle our diverse issues and also be compliant with the necessary tools of government of today.
    when i say matured definitely you should know what i mean. he should also be agile health wise

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