2019: Saraki In Talks With APC, Wants Automatic Return As Senate President
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki may have resumed negotiations with the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Saraki, on Thursday, alongside some APC Governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting was a follow-up to the talks with New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) caucus of APC being coordinated in the past few months by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
National leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, although physically absent at the meeting but may gave been briefed on what transpired at the meeting with Saraki.
Investigations reveal that the Senate President was frank in expressing his mind at the interaction with President Buhari.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “At least, for the first time, there was a frank session between the President and Saraki.
“He expressed disappointment with his humiliation by the government he fought hard to put in place. We were all sober while he relived his travails, because none of us would pray to be in such a situation.
“We understood with him but we felt it was time to forgive and forget in order to move forward.
“As part of preventing Saraki’s defection, we may offer him juicy terms including:
- .Automatic return as the President of the Senate in 2019
- .More consultation and inclusiveness in key decisions henceforth
- .Mutual Executive-Legislature relationship
- .Revisiting all issues raised by nPDP Caucus which formed the basis of talks in the past few months
- .Reconciling with all aggrieved leaders of nPDP
- .Avoiding a repeat of past mistakes which led to his humiliation
“We also appeal to Saraki to shelve moves to defect to PDP or any other party. We agreed that he has a better stake in APC than any other party.”
Asked if Saraki made any commitment, the source added: “There was none yet, but the atmosphere was cordial and hopeful.
“After the meeting, he even bowed well to the President.
“The session was the climax of talks in the past few months. As one of our leaders, we leave the final decision to Saraki to take.
“But one thing was clear from Saraki: he will want all commitments put into writing and documented in case of any breach in the future.
“To some of us who have been wooing him, such a demand is in order. It is a case of once bitten, twice shy.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “The final stage of talks with Saraki will still involve some of our leaders, like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is coordinating the reconciliation in the party.
“In fact, Tinubu has been briefed on the outcome of the meeting at the Villa and why he has to play a key role too.”