APC to meet with Saraki, Dogara, others
The All Progressives Congress(APC) is set to meet with Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others.
Former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola stayed away from yesterday’s meeting in Abuja because “he has made up his mind to team up with his boss, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, to form a coalition against President Muhammadu Buhari”.Other aggrieved bigwigs on the radar of the party are Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, ex-Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako and Danjuma Goje.
There are also senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The party will however submit a comprehensive report to the Presidency after consultations with all those aggrieved.
According to sources, the APC opted for more talks, following “positive signs” with leaders of nPDP at the meeting.
The source said: “Our meeting provided more insights and we are looking at the next phase. In the second phase, the party will meet with nPDP leaders including Saraki, Dogara, Kwankwaso, Tambuwal, Wammako, Goje and others.
“There is likelihood that the party will sit down with these leaders and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo before finally reuniting all. So, we take the meeting up to the highest quarters in the interest of all.
“It is an election year, we will not allow them to go anywhere. The nPDP leaders warned that APC should “not push them to the wall to defect to any party. We will avert being pushed to the wall because time is not on our side.”
The source gave insights into the talks by the two sides.
The source added: “The defunct nPDP team was led by its chairman, Alh. Kawu Baraje and five members of the House of Representatives led by Ali Madaki from Kano State.
“The party was represented at the closed door session by its Deputy National Chairman( North), Sen. Lawal Shuaibu and the National Secretary, Mallam Mai Mala Buni.
“At the session, they stood by the contents of their letter to the party and insisted that they were unhappy because the APC leadership did not play its roles as a party in government.
“They complained over gross indiscipline in the party and how the party formed with good intentions has derailed.
“These leaders said they never wanted to defect to any party if everybody and every group are respected and given a sense of belonging.
“But they were forthcoming that they will leave APC if only they are pushed to the wall by APC leadership.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Throughout the meeting, they made it clear that they have no grudges with President Muhammadu Buhari, they only blamed the leadership of the party.”
On the outcome of the meeting, the source added: “The situation is redeemable if the issues raised are adequately addressed.
“The leader of the APC team, the Deputy National Chairman ( North), Sen. Shuaibu will brief the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee( NWC).”
“After all the phases of meetings and consultations, APC will then write a comprehensive report to the presidency which will serve as a guide on how to address the grievances of the nPDP leaders.”
APC said yesterday it would address the grievances of the members of the defunct nPDP in its fold, who complained of marginalisation.
The party’s Deputy National Chairman Lawal Shuaibu said the party was taking the complaint seriously.
He spoke after a meeting of the party leadership with the nPDP team at the party’s secretariat.
The meeting was called in response to the call by the nPDP members for action to be taken on their complaints.
Shuaibu, who led the APC NWC team to the meeting on behalf of National Chairman Oyegun, said: “We have not yet resolved. They wrote a letter to us, they are partymen, they have grievances, we looked at the letter,their grievances are genuine. And they requested a meeting within seven days and before the seven days expired, I called them and they were not ready to come, they said we should shift the meeting till today, which we did.
“So, we are listening to them, we have listened to them and we are taking up their matter seriously, we will address it. We don’t ignore our people except if you don’t send your grievances to the party, but if you send, we will always address your grievances.”
However, the nPDP leader Baraje expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by the party to address their complaint, saying “So far so good, we have just started and when you start a race, you don’t say whether somebody wants to see you until you are getting to the middle or to the end. But it is a good start, it is a good beginning”.
Baraje said: “As you are aware, we requested that we wanted to see the party, and the party, very sensitive party, very responsible party, responded to our requests adequately and we think it is a very encouraging time.
“Since last week, they have got across to us but because of logistics we couldn’t come until today. We begged the party to shift the date till today and we have seen our party. We are party members; this office is our office, we have only come home to discuss those observations, which we wrote in our letter. The meeting was very beautiful.”
Baraje refused to respond to the allegation by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu’s group, saying “I am not ready to do that because somebody has earlier responded to them adequately. I think the former Youth Leader of the defunct nPDP, Timi Frank, responded to them and once somebody has responded, there is no need beating around the bush.
“In any case, in any group, particularly political groups, you are bound to have a splinter; why they splint is best known to them. As far as we are concerned, the group that sent us here are 95.9 per cent intact.”