Defection alert: Saraki, Tambuwal meet PDP chieftains in Ilorin

Saraki Tambuwal Ortom Secondus Gemade meet

Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Wednesday met with National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, and a presidential aspirant of the party, Sule Lamido, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Saraki and Tambuwal are aggrieved members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Senate President is believed to be interested in contesting the 2019 presidential election, for which President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to get the APC ticket.

Upon arriving in Kwara State on Tuesday, the first time since his Code of Conduct Tribunal victory at the Supreme Court, Saraki said it was not time for him to declare whether he would defect to the PDP or any other political party from the APC.

Other notable politicians at Wednesday’s meeting behind closed doors included Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed; his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom; a former PDP Chairman, Kawu Baraje, who also led the new PDP (nPDP) bloc of the APC; and the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, among others.

Also present at the meeting were Senators Lawal Shuaibu and Barnabas Gemade.

According to sources at the meeting, though some of the politicians had joined the eighth-day Fidau prayer for Baraje’s late mother, Aishat, they later converged at Saraki’s house, where they were joined by other politicians, including Lamido, Secondus and others who reportedly could not attend the Fidau.

The politicians reportedly discussed strategies for the speculated defection of Baraje, Ahmed, Saraki, Tambuwal and others from the APC to the PDP.

Ologbondiyan, who confirmed the meeting, claimed that though it was a brotherhood meeting, they also discussed political issues.

According to him, they discussed how to move Nigeria forward.

He said, “It was a brotherhood meeting. Our leaders met and they shared thoughts on the future of Nigeria and how to improve the living condition of Nigerians and how to make Nigeria a better place for all to live in.

“It was a convergence of notable Nigerians. Do not forget that the essence of today meeting was to commiserate with Alhaji Baraje on the death of his mother. When politicians meet, they must discuss politics and how to improve on the standard of living of Nigerians. It will not be wrong to say some issues were discussed.

“I do not know when Saraki and Baraje will publicly declare their defection. I cannot speak on that.”