President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are to hold a make-or-break meeting with the leaders of the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) at the Presidential Villa, later today.
The meeting is planned as a follow-up to the one held by the president, the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole alongside some governors with Senate President Bukola Saraki, at the villa on Thursday.
Saraki and a number of opposition leaders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had met at his Ilorin home after a victory rally held by the Senate President at the ancient town.
The victory dance was aimed at celebrating Saraki’s victory at the Supreme Court over his long-drawn legal battle to prove his innocence on the allegations of false asset declaration preferred against him by the Federal Government.
The meeting in Ilorin had apparently got the leadership of the APC and the Presidency jittery as Saraki was promptly invited to the Presidential Villa, Abuja for peace talks.
Sources had said that the national chairman of APC was the first to initiate the peace moves with Saraki.
The Senate president, according to sources, asked if Oshiomhole had the mandate of the president to initiate the talks.
According to the source, it was when Oshiomhole answered in the affirmative that Saraki agreed to sit down with him for talks.
The preliminary talk between Oshiomhole and Saraki was to yield the Thursday’s meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, which had some APC governors in attendance alongside the president.
Sources at the meeting said that President Buhari promised to sign any agreement that would forestall the defection of Saraki and other bigwigs to the opposition PDP.
The follow-up meeting is scheduled for evening hours of Sunday, July 22.
Sources said that the leadership of R-APC has perfected a number of demands, which they hoped the president could sign if he wished to retain them in the APC.
No fewer than seven of such demands are said to have been placed on the table at the weekend.
A source said that one of the demands is the retention of Senate President Bukola Saraki as Senate President in the new dispensation, the retention of Speaker Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the new dispensation from 2019 as well as the return of party structures to members of R-APC, who have been displaced by the APC hierarchy in the process of the last national convention.
A source also said that the R-APC is also seeking the dissolution of state executives of the APC that emerged through parallel congresses, while the National Convention must also be properly constituted to ensure an executive that could stand the test of time.
Added to that is the need for automatic return tickets to all members of the R-APC in the Senate and House of Representatives ahead of the 2019 election.
It was gathered that though the R-APC has not formally called for a cessation of legal hostilities against its members who have been dragged to court on different counts, some emissaries of the presidency who visited the likes of Senators Danjuma Goje and Aliyu Wamakko had hinted that a cessation of legal hostilities could be in the offing against many of the affected R-APC members.
“A high-powered delegation of the Presidency visited Senator Danjuma Goje last week where it was promised that his impending case could be softened. Another of such delegation had also visited some top and influential R-APC members. The plan is to cause a division in the R-APC and stall the mass defection. One key part of the agenda is to prevent the R-APC and the PDP from gaining majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The meeting on Sunday at the Villa will decide the fate of the APC, the R-APC and the planned merger with the PDP,” a source stated.