Reports have surfaced over a retreat being made by some loyalists of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over the ongoing crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A reports on The Nation has it that some party members loyal to Saraki have reached out to president Muhammadu Buhari for the purpose of reconciling with him and the party leadership at large.
Members of the ‘peace’ team are reportedly set for a meeting with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national leader of the party, in move to ensure the crisis in the APC is brought to a fruitful end in no distant future.
The Saraki loyalists were however, said to have left the first meeting with Buhari disappointed and uncomfortable due to the president’s body language.
Saraki and his loyalists had defied the party, shunned the June 9 meeting convened by the APC to resolve the matter and teamed up with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to elect their own candidates including Saraki as Senate President and PDP’s Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy, a situation which has plunged the party into deep crisis.
The Nation reports further that House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara was largely instrumental for the change of heart by Saraki and his supporters having being put under pressure by Dogara’s move and the loyalists and strategists struck a meeting with president Buhari a few days ago.
Senators Adamu Aliero, Danjuma Goje, Kabiru Gaya and Abdullahi Adamu were among the loyalists at the meeting as it was also gathered that senator Ali Ndume headed the ‘peace’ group.
A reliable source, who was at the meeting, said: “These Senators, comprising mainly of some former governors came to explore peace between the Presidency and the Senate.
“Obviously, the Senators were subtly running an errand for Saraki. I think their trip was a consequence of the Abdulsalami Peace Committee’s meeting with Saraki.”
Another source at the meeting with Buhari, who pleaded anonymity, reportedly said: “It was actually a family affair thing. When you see a threat looming, you do not need to wait till it becomes a bigger challenge.
“We are doing everything to reconcile the President and the Senate President and other stakeholders in APC to move forward.
“We want to see that everything goes on well. Whatever is the problem, we are going to sort it out.
“There is no point pretending. The President and some APC leaders have been unhappy with the Senate President. We cannot allow the crisis of confidence to fester. This is why we decided to intervene.”
On the president’s reported body language which made the peace team uncomfortable after the visit, a member present, noted: “Yes, the President gave us audience in spite of the fact that he was not too happy with some of us on the roles we played. But I commend his magnanimity.
“We explained the situation of things to him and why he should forgive and forget whatever went wrong. We know what to do in the spirit of reconciliation to accommodate the Ahmed Lawan group.
“He looked uncomfortable but hope is not lost. I won’t tell you what the President said at the meeting.
“I think the President’s grouse was that the party’s directive was ignored despite his appeal that Senators should respect party supremacy. He does not hate Saraki.”
The Nation also gathered last night, that some senators had been approaching Tinubu for reconciliation on the Senate crisis, as Ndume might have made some shuttles to Lagos to meet with Tinubu and some APC leaders.
“I think it is a jealously guarded script being driven by Ndume.
“The reality is that Dogara’s deference to party’s directive has put pressure on Saraki and the APC caucus in the Senate.
“While Dogara opted to be his own man at the last minute, Saraki’s loyalists stuck to their script which has put the Senate on the edge and created mutual distrust between the President and the Senate President,” a respected member of the APC was quoted to have said.
Recall that Tinubu had vowed not to accept Saraki’s apology unless he publishes it in national dailies.