A meeting involving the former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babaginda and People’s Democratic Party party leaders at his Hilltop Mansion has become a matter of interest.
Why it matters
The meeting with IBB had in attendance the Caretaker Committe Chairman of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State and the Chairman Convention Planning Committee, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa who is the current governor of Delta state and his Taraba State counterpart Governor Darius Ishyaku as well as Senator Ben Obi, the National Secretary of the caretaker committee.
However, what did not go unnoticed was the presence of the same PDP leaders at the office of the Governor of Niger State just after the meeting with IBB. Abubakar Sani Bello, the APC Governor of Niger state received the PDP bigwigs at his office for about an hour and held a meeting designated private. According to reporters at the Hilltop Mansion in Minna, one of the security aides to the governor yelled at curious reporters “All of you go back, this is not a meeting for press men.”
What we know
The meeting with IBB was a consultative visit to a party leader on the planning of the upcoming PDP National Convention which is expected to chart the course of the party which has been long embroiled in a leadership crisis. The former head of state also defended former VP Atiku’s defection to the party and said there is nothing wrong with it. However speculations were rife that IBB, a godfather to Governor Bello had given the party leaders a go-ahead to discuss with the Governor on the prospects of his defection to the party. But the governor has publicly debunked the claim.
According to Governor Bello
Governor Bello’s Media and Publicity Coordinator, Jide Orintunsin who spoke on his behalf said the claims were false. He pointed out that the PDP leaders visit had no such agenda as to woo the governor to the opposition party. “It was purely a private visit. They just came and visited. That is what happened.”