Facts have emerged that the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has started negotiation with the Peoples Democratic Party in order to dump the All Progressive Congress ahead of the 2019 general election.
Saraki, who had been in alliance with PDP since the beginning of 8th National Assembly, is said to be planning to use the crisis that will likely emanate from the upcoming APC National Convention to detect to the PDP baring any last minute change of mind, The Eagle Online informed.
A source close to Saraki’s camp told our correspondent that some of the senators in the APC are also part of the plan to dump the party after the convention since the State Governors elected on the platform of the party have already blocked their move to return to Senate.
The source said the plan is not limited to the Senate as several members of the House of Representatives, including the leadership, are engaged in discussion with the leadership of the PDP.
The source, who was privy to one of the meetings held in this regard, said some of the senators loyal to Saraki in the Senate “have been telling their counterparts in the PDP create space for them in the party as they are either returning home or seeking refuge in the party..
According to the source: “They always tell their colleagues in the PDP to create space for them.”
The momentum in this regard became more with the declaration on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari that he would stay for reelection in 2019.
It was gathered that though top notchers of the PDP had been clamouring for the return of Saraki to the party, from which he defected to the APC, their job had been made easier with the declaration of Buhari to stand for election as president in 2019.
According to reliable sources, the arrowhead of the return of Saraki to the PDP has been the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu.
Though Ekweremadu belongs to the PDP, which is the opposition party in the country, he was elected as Saraki’s deputy at the commencement of the 8th Senate in a move that has seen the senators of the opposition party backing the Senate president on virtually all issues.
And despite the fact that Ekweremadu is being touted as the probable running mate of the top presidential aspirant of the PDP for the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, there are also said to be calculations that in the event that anything goes wrong, a Saraki-Ekweremadu ticket could also be considered to give the likely Buhari-Osinbajo ticket a challenge.
Saraki, who is bitter about his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over false assets declaration, has been using some of loyalists in both the APC and PDP to carpet the administration of Buhari on all scores.
The recent one is the interview granted by the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, where the topmost legislator in Saraki’s home state assembly criticised the Buhari government for releasing the “looters’ list”.
The looters list was released by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Ahmad said: “To me, the expected looters’ list is an opposition list.
“I didn’t even read the other one and this one that is coming, I won’t read it.
“I know the names of those likely to be there, so I won’t waste my time reading it.
“I will rather invest my time on things that are resourceful and important.
“Honestly, preparing the looters’ list shows that the Minister doesn’t have a serious work to do.
“You cannot fight corruption in Nigeria the way APC and the Federal Government are fighting it and get good results.
“First, our judicial system is very slow.
“What should be done is to change the perspectives of Nigerians about corruption and then strengthen the States and National Assemblies to do it.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, is also said to be high in the target of the PDP as both parties have been meeting.
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, simply replied via a text message: “PDP is open to all Nigerians who desire good governance.”
But top sources in the party confirmed that move by Saraki to return to the PDP alongside his loyalists.