Osun 2018: APC, PDP, Others In Dilemma?

By Shina Abubakar

With barely four months to the conduct of party primaries ahead of the 2018 governorship election in the state of Osun, political activities among parties in the state is still at its lowest ebb contrary to the expectation of the general public.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had attempted to lift ban on political activities in the party about two weeks ago thereby creating excitement among members of the party and supporters of potential aspirants, but the excited public were disappointed as the party is yet to lift the ban, making it about the second time to be unsuccessful in its attempt to make the political space lively.

Similarly, the ostensible internal crisis rocking the main opposition party has become an hydra-headed nemesis which is sapping party gladiators of their energy and attention away from the preparation for the guber poll and with no hope of going away any moment soon.

The party has not been able to reach compromise regarding the way to go on the conclusion of its congress as it has failed to bring warring factions to the round table thereby failing to meet the expectations of the people, who rely on them to provide alternatives.

It was gathered that one of the opposition gladiators, Senator Iyiola Omisore holds the party by the jugular because of his political ambition against the resolve of the entire party machinery in the state because he has the ears of the party’s national secretariat.

The popular parlance among members of the PDP in recent times has been “It is Osun PDP vs Omisore”, which seems to be a reflection of the position of the majority of the party members, particularly in the Osun central and west senatorial district with a section of the Ijesa Federal Constituency in support, while Ife Federal Constituency appeared to be solidly behind the former senator.

This stems from a public reaction of a member of House of Representative from Ife, Dr Albert Adeogun that Ife zone is yet to produce a governor since the birth of the state over two decades ago.

However, the ruling APC seems to be the most troubled as party hierarchy is yet to have a common ground over the time it would lift ban on political activities, a position that is not suitable to some prospective aspirants and their supporters.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the decision not to lift the ban was not unconnected with the party’s inability to finalise over which district to zone its governorship ticket, as many members of the party favour zoning the ticket to the West Senatorial district.

Information at the medium’s disposal revealed that the voice of the party’s hierarchy is not united on the matter as different chieftains of the party had different stances about it. A former Governor of the State and a chieftain of the APC, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola had at a public function disclosed that it is the turn of the West senatorial district to produce the next governor of the state.

Checks further revealed that the APC is battling with convincing majority of its members to buy into the idea of returning the ticket to Osun central with a view to convincing the electorates to vote for the party later in the year.

Similarly, even while gladiators in the PDP have refused to sheath their swords, the party is also divided on the choice of the district to zone the ticket. The Adagunodo faction, according to reports, has settled for the west senatorial district, but Omisore is said to be hell-bent on having another shot at the ticket.

It was gathered that both parties were confused as to the choice of candidate that would be acceptable to the general public in the poll, this, investigation revealed has hindered both parties from going ahead with political activities so it could curtail fallout of its decisions before the primaries.

Meanwhile, other political parties too seem to have refused to grow out of the shadow of the APC, PDP and their political activities appeared to be dictated by the action of the two major political parties in the state.

Labour Party, Accord Party and NCP seems to have been at lost with regards to political realities in the state as none of the parties is showing any readiness to give the two dominant parties a fight for the guber poll later in the year.


APC-NEC And Tenure Elongation

For a party that rode onto office on the promise of change, we find the decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress to extend the tenure of the John Odigie-Oyegun-led national executive body beyond the terminal date of June as both disconcerting and unfortunate. Aside undermining the principles that the party claims to stand for, it lays the party to a fair charge by critics of hypocrisy, impunity and complete disdain for rules as one would expect of a disciplined organisation.

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, had at the end of the party’s NEC meeting announced that the body, in accordance with its constitutional powers, decided to extend the tenure of its Chief Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) as well as the party’s state executives by one year, purportedly on the strength of Article 13.3 (ii) of the party’s constitution, which empowers the NEC to “Discharge all functions of the National Convention as constituted in between elections”.

Said Bello: “Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and conventions and considering that our leader, Senator Tinubu has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general elections with more dispute and crises. Let me tell you that this will not stop the convention of the party, but to go into elective congresses is what we are trying to avoid, relying on the constitution of our party.”

That a political party would seem to act in flagrant disdain for process must be seen as something beyond the pale. Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, certainly did well to put things in correct perspective: “What was done today is only an expression of a desire to extend the tenure of Chief Oyegun-led national executives. The power of the convention to extend tenure is exercised only by way of a constitutional amendment. The power of the National Executive Committee of our party cannot go beyond doing so by way of constitution amendment”.

We couldn’t agree more with him. The decision, to be legal and constitutional, can only be done by the National Convention of the party by way of a constitutional amendment. To be sure, only the tardiness of the current leadership and their failure to provide disciplined leadership can resort to arbitrariness. Article 17 (i) of the APC constitution would seem clear enough: “Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, all officers of the party elected or appointed into the party’s organs shall serve in such organs for a period of four (4) years and shall be eligible for re-election or re-appointment for another period of four years only…”

This is further reinforced by Section 223(2a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended): “the election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party shall be deemed to be periodical only if it is made at regular intervals not exceeding four years…”

The suggestion that the power delegated to NEC vitiates these fundamental provisions can only be borne out of mischief and this can create a dangerous precedent that can only spell doom for the party.

We expect that the four-year tenure of the current team will be allowed to run out in June. In the circumstance, any contrary decision can only be taken legally by the National Convention. As to the fear of another cycle of democratic contestation imperiling the party, such fears are not only ludicrous but utterly self-serving.

APC Group, Others Rejoice With Adeoti At 65

Members and executives of the Osun New Era Group (ONE-G), an affiliation of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun have started showering encomiums on the current Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the State Coordinator of the group, Mr Jamiu Ibrahim and made available to Journalists in the state capital.

According to the group, Alhaji Adeoti has consistently been an embodiment of what progressive politics should be not just within the Southwest geo-political zone but the entire country at large.

According to the APC group, the man, Adeoti has paid his dues as a leader as reflected in all his actions while he was the party chairman in the state during the most turbulent period in the political history of the state.

The group reflected on the period preceding and following the 2007 governorship election when members of the opposition party were being arrested and clamped into detention on trumped-up charges ranging from arson and bomb explosion.

“Throughout the period mentioned above, Adeoti and some others remained committed to the progressive ideals of the party.

“Throughout the period of his incarceration, he remained unperturbed and never for once betrayed the course of his progressive politics despite numerous overtures extended to him by the then PDP-led administration in the state.

“As a group, all we can do to celebrate this political icon of our time is to jointly continue to pray that Almighty Allah spares his life to continue to be a shining light to the younger progressive elements within the APC fold in the state and even beyond,” the group prayed.

In the same vein, another political and civil society group, the People’s Welfare League (PWL) also added to the numerous congratulatory messages by wishing him success in all his future political endeavours.

According to the State Coordinator of the group, Comrade Abiodun Agboola, the celebrant has become a role model to most of the group members.

He therefore wished Alhaji Adeoti more celebration of the day in good health and prosperity.

In his own congratulatory message, a frontline APC member and current Leader of the House in Iwo Local Government Council, Mr Tunde Akinlawon, praised the celebrant for his style of politics and doggedness in his struggle to ensure a better Osun and prayed for his long life.


Monkeys, Snakes, Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin By Lasisi Olagunju

“Their men, young and old, I took as prisoners. Of them I cut off the feet and hands; of others I cut off the noses, ears and lips; of the young men’s ears I made a heap; of the old men’s heads I made a minaret.”

That quote is one horrible monument to the memory of an Assyrian empire called Nineveh and its rulers. Nineveh, at the height of its glory, was the greatest empire on earth. It built a huge reputation for savage acts because it was powerful. To the Jews, it was “the bloody city, full of lies and robbery.”

Nineveh was destroyed in 612 BC by a coalition of victim-nations. A commentator (on how the empire blossomed and fell) notes that when you rule with wickedness and savagery, “your enemies are not likely to forget how they were treated.” When the enemies came in 612 BC, they destroyed everything, including the empire’s ‘everlasting god’, Ashur.

I was at a Christian burial service last Friday where the priest invoked what he called ‘the writing on the wall’ against leaders ruining Nigeria and its future. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin, he chanted repeatedly in revulsion at the mess the country had become. That is a biblical statement interpreted to mean: “God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.”

It points at why an empire called Babylon had to be destroyed and parceled out. A key member of the coalition that destroyed Nineveh in 612 BC was Babylon. Babylon also had to be destroyed in 539 BC by Medes and Persia, two of its allies in the war against Nineveh. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin is a Biblical sign of the end of Babylon. What does it mean to say the days of Babylon are numbered? It means no empire lasts forever. What remains after the fall of every potentate is history of his behaviour in power. If Babylon is destroyed and shared by the allied forces of Medes and Persia, what does that tell us about contemporary powers and power relations? The APC is in power today. Before this ruling party, there was the PDP which prided itself as the biggest and largest party in Africa. A coalition of friends and foes in 2015 put a halt to the pillaging moves of the PDP. Are we not likely to see Medes and Persia in 2019?

History can be very mocking of powers and principalities. Nineveh fell. Babylon fell. Before the fall of Babylon, there was Medes which ruled over the Persians; then they flipped roles: “Under a brilliant young general named Cyrus, the Persians quickly supplanted the Medes and would go on to accomplish things never seen previously in history. After bringing the Medes to heel, they looked outward to foreign lands.” With Medes as a junior coalition partner, Persia was to add the powerful Babylon to the list of its victims.

Babylon became great and forgot its beginning. It became a habitation of evil and a cage for hateful birds. The priest at the burial believed our leaders had done what Babylon did to warrant the fate that befell it. His invocation of history as prayer pointed at the need to end Nigeria’s dynasty of corruption and ineffectual power and create an oasis of peace and prosperity.

The priest’s invocation was not as shocking as the scary chorus of ‘Amen!’ that followed it. Have things gone this bad? Obviously, they have; but the naked king thinks he is still clothed in the velvet of his coronation. But there is a problem. How will ending dynasties and calving powers be applicable as solution to the problems here? I found it very difficult to understand why the congregation chorusing ‘Aamen!’ did not go further to ask the priest what would follow the end of Babylon? If you take power from the current lords of nepotism, who is that saint that will collect it and won’t replace corruptive cronyism with kidnapping and robbery?

History has not been kind in its account of what follows every dynastic change. Nineveh was destroyed by Babylon and its allies because it was an empire of wickedness. Babylon too was destroyed by Persia and its ally because of the horrid iniquities it institutionalized. The PDP was degraded in the last elections to cure the nation of corruptive afflictions. Now, APC/Buhari’s Nigeria last week scored a miserable 27 per cent for its efforts at killing corruption. That was the verdict of Transparency International which was a darling of the APC and Buhari in the years of their enemies. What was the average score before Buhari? Less than 28 per cent! Corruption is the family house of all infractions. It includes nepotism which you commit when you use your powers to give undue favours to your family members. It includes cronyism – which means what? When you tilt advantages unfairly in favour of your associates and friends, you are guilty of cronyism.

Of course, there is bribery; there is embezzlement; there is graft and there is influence peddling. Use of public power for private gain is the official definition of corruption. Does that not smell like nepotism, cronyism, clannishness and favouritism which are the rainbow colours of the Buhari government? Even when Olusegun Obasanjo, the navigator of the process that birthed the Buhari government, spoke about these infractions, what defence did the government put forward? None. Instead, it gave a long list of ‘achievements’, including generating 7,000 megawatts of electricity which has not translated to a sack of darkness at night.

Corruption has gone worse under the APC government, according to Transparency International. Buhari and his government say that cannot be true: What else are we supposed to do that we haven’t done? We have used the past two years and nine months naming and shaming thieves. We have touched the untouchables and shamed the saintly crooks. We have recovered billions in local and foreign currencies and kept the loots for public good. We have stormed privileged homes at midnight and put fearful judges in handcuffs. We have seized powerful generals, air marshals and naval admirals and put them on trial for stealing billions to fund their greed. We have done more than has ever been done in this land flowing with loose Naira and careless dollars. Now this Transparency report has awarded a miserable 27 per cent to Nigeria for 2017. What marking scheme did they use? Who used them? What has gone wrong or what went wrong?

Really, what marking scheme did the examiners use? Does Buhari know that his government has been very transparent in its misbehaviour? How did we know that we have a multibillion naira State House clinic without paracetamol? Rodents chasing out big men out of Villa offices despite billions in maintenance contracts; snakes of the devil swallowing millions; monkeys invading farmhouses to mine senatorial millions; secret recruitments of nephews, nieces and children of mistresses and concubines to fill elite spaces; NNPC contracts without due process; reinstatement and promotion of associates caught pants down. The government did all these and exhibited them for all to see. Transparency International saw them too and was not amused.

Nineveh was destroyed because it was evil. Babylon which destroyed Nineveh was sacked because it became a city of foul spirits and of wicked use of power. Persia which sacked Babylon became history because it refused to learn and change from the evil acts of the past. When you remove dynasties and retain a nation’s character of evil, you have changed nothing. That is what I took from Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai. He talks anticorruption but demolished his enemy’s building last week and took over the land. That site will soon become a park to fulfill the vow of the powers of today. El-Rufai has also reportedly forwarded a N30 million bill to the same enemy-Senator as ground rent on another property. If the enemy does not pay N30 million in 30 days time, the building will also go down. That governor may be short in stature, but he has a very robust sense of (in)justice. There is methodology in whatever the petite governor does, including in his demolition ways.

Now, how much support does this governor’s (mis) behaviour enjoy from Abuja? We may not know because that power locus does not speak and does not act against wicked allies. What, therefore, is the difference between what the kings of Nineveh and Babylon did and what happened last week in Kaduna? The government there demolished a building because its enemies turned it to their office. The mind that did that obviously had no sense of history. That history-less mind has a script such as: If you dream of contesting against me in the next elections, I will demolish your house. If you don’t have a house, I will go after your father’s house. If your father has/had been too careless not to own a house, I will gun for your grandfather’s grave.

The kings of Babylon did similar things. Today, history remembers them and what remains of their empire: “A large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris” 85 kilometers south of present day Iraq. No power (and empire) lasts forever.

Oyegun Meets Buhari Over Tinubu

Shortly after Bola Tinubu, who was appointed by President Buhari to reconcile conflicts within the APC accused the national chairman of being a saboteur, the (national Chairman, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun) has held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. Oyegun declined commenting on the outcome of the meeting.

Buhari had, on Feb. 6, appointed Tinubu to lead an APC consultation, reconciliation and confidence building team toward improving cohesion in the party ahead of the general elections in 2019.

In a letter of complaint to Odigie-Oyegun, Tinubu accused the party’s chairman of sabotaging his reconciliation efforts in the party. The letter, titled: “Actions and conduct weakening the party from APC: within”, was copied to President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Tinubu accused the APC Chairman of compounding the challenge of reconciliation by taking “improper unilateral decisions” on issues affecting national and state chapters.

He also accused Odigie-Oyegun of delaying the release of information critical to the resolution of crises in state chapters.

2019: David Ayeni Canvasses Support For Tayo Adebiyi To Win Ekiti North

The Director General of Tayo Adebiyi Campaign Organization, David Ayeni {Erebe Presenter} has urged members of the All Progressives Congress APC in Ekiti North Senatorial District to support Adebiyi’s candidature in the 2019 General Elections.

According to Ayeni, Adebiyi has the capability to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

In a statement he personally signed, the Itaji-Ekiti born politician is capable of extending his numerous contributions to the development of humanity when he is elected.

Read the full statement below:

Adebiyi is an exceptional leader of Ekiti North APC

What every concerned person especially the youths are clamouring for is a person who is willing and ready to impact directly on the lives of people.

It will be a self delusion and a repeated deception to think we will bring anyone from the whims to go and represent us in Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1. What do i mean by this? Anyone who has not been interacting and impacting directly in the lives of his people before electioneering period comes from the whims.

In Oye/Ikole Federal constituency, we seek a man who feels the pain of his people and is not only willing to help for electoral purposes but that man who has been helping and is still helping them. Not a person who is periodical in his sympathy for his people. We seek that man who has shouldered that responsibility of putting smiles on the faces of his people without some long strings attached.

That man who through his non-governmental organisation “pat royal foundation” dug and installed a functioning borehole at Itaji-Ekiti, empowered our farmers with hoe, cutlasses and fertilizers. He touched the lives of our market women with cash donations, aprons, buckets, packers and other relieve materials for their chosen professions.

Our people from Ikole Ekiti will not forget his free medical intervention where qualified Doctors and nurses were taken to their door steps to attend to their health challenges with absolutely free drugs available to them when hospitals in Ekiti State were paralysed through industrial action.

Over 2000 kids enjoyed his program “pat Kiddies party” last December where children of the poor where made to enjoy free father Christmas show with mouth watering gifts and scholarship.

In the spirit of comradeship, stability and without any form of reservations i present our brother our friend our son and benefactor PRINCE TAYO ADEBIYI , from Itaji Ekiti in Oye local government to us that he may represent us in the green chamber to do much more for us.


Signed: David Ayeni erebe presenter. DG, Tayo Adebiyi Campaign Organisation

Decamping  Tsunami Will Strike APC Soon —Secondus

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, says the All Progressives Congress will encounter what he calls “defection tsunami” soon.

He spoke against the decamping members in State like Kogi and Adamawa

For example, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, had on Saturday led 16 other supporters and chieftains members of the PDP to the APC in Adamawa,

Those who left the PDP with him included Chief Felix  Tangwami,  Chief Medan Teneke, Alhaji Saidu Aliyu and Alhaji Yusuf Dan-Umana.

Gulak had claimed that he and his co-defectors left the main opposition party because of alleged impunity in the party.

“It is time for us to formally register as APC members. It is time to formally bury the PDP in Adamawa State,” Gulak said during the defection.

Though Secondus said the PDP regretted the defection of its members, he said it was better to go into election with people who the party was sure would work for its success.

The national chairman of the PDP, who spoke with our correspondent in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday,  insisted that the national leadership and other stakeholders of the party were working hard to make sure that the party would win the 2019 elections.

APC Declaims Visiting Ali-Modu Sheriff Of PDP

Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff.

The party also dissociated its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, from the meeting.

A statement in Abuja on Friday, the party urged stakeholders to disregard the speculation and describing it as “falsehood”.

‘’Following Thursday’s visit of the national chairman of the APC to the Villa, the attention of the party has been drawn to surprising speculations in some sections of the media on the visit.

‘’For the records, the APC national chairman only met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

‘’He was not aware, neither was he part of the reported meeting between the Vice President and the former PDP national chairman,’’ the statement by APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said.

Abdullahi added that Odigie-Oyegun did not visit the Vice President on the day in question and had equally not met Sheriff in over two years.

He therefore said that linking the chairman’s visit to the villa to media reports of Sheriff’s plans to join the APC was an effort to cause confusion and disaffection in the party’s Borno chapter.

The party explained that its membership was negotiated at the ward level of intending entrants, irrespective of status.

David Umahi Vows Never To Ditch PDP

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has pledged not to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in spite of the crisis currently rocking the party at the national level.

Umahi made the pledge on Sunday during a Christmas ‘Get-Together’ he organised for the State Working Committee (SWC) of the PDP including its local and zonal committee members.

The governor spoke against the backdrop of fears in the state that he would soon dump the party due to the crisis and to secure his second-term bid.

According to him, the current challenges confronting the party will not lead to its demise as it will soon fizzle out with the commitment of its dedicated members.

“Anybody who believes that I would leave PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any other party is sleeping and should be woken from sleep.

“APC and other parties cannot win election in this state because PDP has performed marvellously and cannot be arm-twisted,’’ he said.

The governor said that infrastructure projects, especially roads were being executed in all Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, courtesy of the PDP- led government.

‘“We are not just constructing roads but doing so on asphalt and stone base and other sectors such as education, health, agriculture, human empowerment among others, are feeling our impact,” Umahi said.

The governor advised the party leaders to shun corrupt and divisive tendencies in order to succeed and reposition the party for the onerous tasks ahead.

“You must avoid taking bribes, embezzling party funds among other negative acts, as contentment and Godliness is very important to achieve success.

“When you are given N10 million for instance, present the actual amount to the members because the worst thing in life is to embezzle funds meant for all, alone,” he said.

The state PDP Chairman, Mr Onyekachi Nwebonyi, thanked the governor for the reception and pledged to support him in justifying the mandate given to him by the people.

“We have learnt from the mistakes of the past and have been repositioned to maintain our resounding electoral success in 2019 and beyond.

“The people are witnesses to your massive infrastructure strides and impact in all sectors of the state which would make us maintain our overwhelming dominance in the state,” he said.

The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh, thanked the governor for identifying with various sectors of the state during the yuletide.

“Ebonyi is the only state that earmarked N1.7billion to touch the lives of its people during this Christmas period.

“This will definitely cushion effects of the current recession in the country and make the people part of the state’s governance,’’ Odoh said

It is reported that the party stakeholders used the occasion to suggest ways of enhancing the party’s well-being and pledged their support for the governor.

APC Govs Pressurize Buhari To 2019 Election

Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, has said 24 All Progressives Congress governors are mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019.

Bello stated this on Saturday in Lokoja, the state capital, at a rally organised by the APC to receive defectors to into its fold.

The governor, at the event, which was also attended by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said Buhari must contest in 2019.

He explained that all the 24 APC governors were ready to support his reelection.

He maintained that APC remained the only viable and strongest party in Kogi State, saying the development made members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to defect to the party.

He said, “Presdent Buhari must contest second term because all the 24 APC governors are ready to support his reelection

“All the PDP members that mattered in the state have all decamped to the APC because they have seen the light and realised that APC hasbetter programme for the people of the state and Nigeria in general”

Odigie-Oyegun, at the rally, said the President had liberated the country from an impending economic doom.

He added that Buhari had succeeded in repositioning the economy from dependency on oil and focusing on other sources of revenue such as agriculture.

He said, “Nigeria, under President Buhari, no longer depends on oil to survive. Today, Nigeria, under Buhari, has taken the lead in the agricultural production and the nation is operating on a stable economic progression.”

Meanwhile, some of the national leaders and six state governors billed to attend another APC unity rally in Minna, the Niger State capital, shunned the event.

Also, all the state House of Assembly members walked out of the rally in annoyance.

The rally, earlier scheduled for 1pm, commenced at 3.30pm when it became clear that the party’s national chieftains and the invited governors might not attend.

The climax of the rally was the reception for 34 defectors from the PDP including ex-commissioners in the state.

Speaking at the pre-rally meeting on Saturday Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, said the APC’s profile was rising in the state because of its strict adherence to the principles of party supremacy.

Bello advised the new members to abide by the party rules and regulations.

He said, “The cohesion, progress and unity we are witnessing in Niger State APC today are productS of strict adherence to party supremacy. We respect party supremacy and I am glad that the calibre of people returning to the family are experienced party men.’’

The state party Chairman, Jibrin Imam, described the defection as the best thing to happen to the state and the party, adding that “this development will further strengthen the party.”

Tinubu, APC Chiefs Visit Buhari In Daura Today

President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to meet Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress at his country home in Daura, Katsina state today, a day after he received the party’s governors.

NAN reliably gathered that the APC leadership and top chieftains of the party would be converging in Daura to commiserate with the President who recently lost two members of his extended family.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande had on Feb. 13 met with President Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akande, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria after the Tuesday meeting with the president, dismissed the speculation that they met with the president over 2019 presidential election, adding that they came to condole the president.

Tinubu, who also spoke to newsmen after the meeting, expressed his commitment towards ensuring electoral victory for all APC candidates in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

He commended Buhari for appointing him to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts toward improving cohesion within the APC.

However, a source confided in NAN that the second meeting of Tinubu with the president in Daura on Saturday might go beyond mere condolence visit.

“Look, in the next few weeks and months the president will continue to receive different groups and organisations whose sole aim is to put much pressure on him to declare his intention for re-election in 2019.

“So, those Nigerians calling on him to seek reelection would continue to seek audience with the president with hope that he will finally agree with them to sustain continuity in APC-led administration, come 2019,’’ the source said.

According to the source, which preferred to remain anonymous, the meeting between the president and the APC chieftains might also deliberate on some socio-political matters affecting the country.

The APC governors who met with President Buhari on Friday in Daura included the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and Zamfara Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari; Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Abubakar Muhammed (Bauchi); Kashim Shettima (Borno); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Aminu Masari (Katsina) and Malam Nasir El-Rufa’I of Kaduna State.

Others are Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger) and Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, while the governors of Benue, Osun and Ogun were represented by their deputies.

The governors of Benue, Ogun and Osun were represented by their deputies while Yobe and Plateau were also represented by top government officials at the meeting.

NAN observed that the meeting of the APC Governors’ Forum with President Buhari was first of its kind outside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.