Buhari, Mark in close door meeting

Ahead of the May 29 hand over date, President-Elect General Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, received the Senate President David Mark in his Abuja residence.

The meeting, held behind closed door, lasted for about 45 minutes.

The Senate President arrived Buhari’s Lobito Crescent Wuse 11, Abuja residence at 2pm.

Sen. David Mark and Gen. Buhari

A source who craved anonymity, said that the discussion centred on the way forward for the in-coming administration without going into details.

It could however not be ascertained whether the visit has anything to do with reported scheming by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to which Mark belongs, to retain his position in the new dispensation and any realignment with the party in power.

There has been high level lobbying for the exalted number three position among key ranking members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the inauguration in June, between Senators from North central and North East.

APC leaders from the two zones were seen at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja making frantic efforts to persuade the leadership to zone the office to their respective members.

North Central zonal chairman of APC, Mr Zakari Ede is leading the long team to persuade the party’s leadership to let his zone retain the office.

It was also learnt that governors from the North East had agreed to rally round a senator from their zone to clinch the position.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Senator Ali Ndume said the North Central zone had had the privilege of occupying the office, while the North East have never enjoyed such.

To demonstrate their seriousness, APC leaders from North Central held a strategic meeting on how to outwit their opponents in the quest to push through their position.

Rising from this meeting, they adduced reasons why the zone should retain the position in the next political dispensation.

They argued that the zone deserved the position, for example, to compensate their people for the massive support they gave the party during the last general elections.

In a communique at the end of the meeting, the zone noted its unwavering support for the APC without which the party would not have emerged victorious in the last presidential election.

The communique signed by the APC North Central Zonal Chairman, Zakari Ede; Chairman of APC in Kwara state, Ishola Fulani; his Nasarawa counterpart, Philips Tatari; Latep Daban of Plateau; Benue’s Abba Yaro; Hardy Ametuo of Kogi, based its resolution on “the fact that by every consideration, North central zone deserves to produce the next senate president.

“It must be noted that since 1999, the north central zone even under Peoples Democratic Party has been taken third position and with our recent performance, we equally believe that the zone should have the same third position.

“We also like to put on record that the north central states delivered five governors as we won all our governorship elections, delivered thirteen senators and other National Assembly members including the members of states’ houses of assembly to APC as against the norm.

“It will be unfair to be treated otherwise after these performances. If the zone has performed and delivered under the APC, we believe we should be adequately rewarded as was done under PDP.”

The zone backed up its claim to retain the Senate presidency with a threat saying, “We need to emphasise here that north central is a vulnerable zone and our success and victory should not be taken for granted.”

The zone said that it would be equitable and just for it to retain the office of the Senate presidency, adding, “We hereby demand for same.”

The north central APC leaders also used the occasion to congratulate Buhari and Vice-President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for their victory at the poll.

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