Abuja, May 10,2019
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday received an Award of Honour from the Progressives Governors Forum headed by embattled Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and in the evening of same day, hosted the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Tinubu, to Ramadan breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, make up the Progressives Gove
rnors’ Forum with Okorocha as their chairman and they turned out in good numbers to honour President Buhari for ‘moving the nation’s democracy to the next level.’
The party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who has been having a running battle with some of the party’s governors, especially Okorocha, Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun State and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State was absent from the program.
Amosu and Okorocha have been declared suspended by the party for anti-party activities as both supported candidates of other parties for the governorship positions in their states. Okorocha is still lamenting that Oshiomhole has a hand in his son–in-law, Uche Nwosu not securing the governorship ticket of the APC and eventually failing to win the election on the platform of another party and is still fighting to retrieve his senatorial certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and equally accuses Oshiomhole, who he says he installed as national chairman of APC of having a hand in his travail.
Zamfara state’s candidates for the national and state assembly polls as well as the governorship position in the last election were disqualified by the INEC as a result of disagreements between the governor and Oshiomhole.
The party’s chairman is also currently engaged in an unsavory verbal exchange with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state who wants a second term but who has been variously accused of a poor performance record that should not earn him a return ticket to the Lugard House in Lokoja.
Pundits are are already wondering whether the APC governors are returning to take over their place of relevance now that general elections are over and what their terms would be, especially also as Oshiomhole has not been as visible in state affairs as he used to be.
Will Oshiomhole be sacrificed? Will the governors who felt emasculated by Oshiomhole be pacified in some way? or is the President trying to build bridges between the party and this critical bloc that thinks it needs to be appeased?
The President’s Personal Assistant (Photograph), Mr Sunday Aghaeze, in a pictorial report made the meeting between Buhari and Tinubu in Abuja, Friday, known.
The pictures show the President and Tinubu on a dining table with varieties of eatables and drinks as well as the president escorting his guest after the meeting.
NAN reports that the sudden appearance of Tinubu at the Presidential Villa had finally put to rest the reported ‘political misunderstandings’ between the president and the Asiwaju.
Tinubu’s absence during the President’s last visit to Lagos shortly before his 10-day private visit to London was misinterpreted in some quarters.
Similarly, President Buhari’s inability to attend Tinubu’s 2019 colloquium at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to mark his 67th birthday, was equally misinterpreted by some social commentators.
Their is also the speculation that the issue of who would be the Minister representing Lagos is raising some dust as it is believed that current Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode was promised the slot to get him not to fight for a second term on another party’s platform when Tinubu pulled the rug off his feet in the APC. Tinubu is said not to be happy with the arrangement which many believe would re-inforce the coalition that is building up around Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, Ekiti State Governor, Kunle Fayemi and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu against his control of the party in the South West.
The President, who was represented at the Tinubu Colloquium by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, was on official engagements at the villa where he was inaugurating the new Micro Pension Plan about the same time the colloquium was holding at the centre.
President Buhari usually uses some days of the Ramadan to host political, traditional and religious leaders as well as other prominent and ordinary citizens to Ramadan breakfast at the villa.