Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, six All Progressives Congress (APC) governors from the six geopolitical zones and the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal.
Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently attending the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as COP-22, in Marrakech, Morocco.
The governors at the meeting were Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger) and Jubrilla Bindow (Adamawa).
At the parley which took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the governors expressed displeasure with Buhari’s refusal to consult them. They were angry over non-reconstitution of federal boards as well as the controversial ambassadorial nominees’ list, which has seen two nominees rejecting the offers.
Before Buhari left the country, Saraki had met with him thrice over his request for approval to get $29.9 billion loan.
The Senate had recently rejected Buhari’s request for the facility.
It also described the 2017 to 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) forwarded by President Buhari for approval as “empty.”
The MTEF is yet to be approved by the Senate.
Saraki, when approached by State House Correspondents to speak on what transpired at the meeting, said: “ I am sure the VP will issue a statement. But nothing of great alarm. It’s all for good governance, inclusion and collaboration with all arms. The states are here, National Assembly executives just came up with ideas on how to make things work even better, that’s all.”
No official statement on the meeting was issued at Press time.
But a source at the meeting said Osinbajo, who tried to calm the governors, assured those in attendance that critical stakeholders in the party will be carried along in any future major appointments.
According to the source, the meeting was part of President Buhari’s ongoing peace moves to reconcile aggrieved members of the ruling party.
He told Daily Sun what transpired: “There was a meeting at the Villa today (yesterday), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The Senate President, Bukola Saraki was there. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara was there. The Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal was also there.
“There were six All Progressives Congress (APC) governors from the six geopolitical zones. Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state was there for the South-west; Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara state was there for North-west; Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was there for the South-east; and Governor of Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state was there for North-central.
“The two main things discussed were appointment of federal board members and the ambassadorial nominees recently sent to the Senate. The President is beginning to adopt a more collaborative approach.
“The President has now decided to reach out to stakeholders in the party on major issues. Going forward, he wants to ensure that everyone is carried along. Almost everyone was represented at the meeting.
“The governors complained about recent appointments made by Buhari and questioned why they were not carried along. The governors, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives have been assured that they will be carried along.
“The issue of loan request did not come up. The major issue is board appointments and governors complained about the ambassadorial nominees,” he said.