New Telegraph - Facts have emerged on what leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo discussed when they met last week Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that the meeting held at the Conference Room of the Vice President centred on the current political development in the country, anti-graft war, Supreme Court rulings on Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba governorship elections and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Also, the meeting, which had in attendance Senate President Bukola Saraki; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal; former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuff Lasun, reviewed the unfolding events in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), state of the economy, finances of APC and the forthcoming party activities.
It was further learnt that the party leaders expressed concerns over the structure of the electoral umpire, the INEC. A source privy to the meeting told New Telegraph that Osinbajo and the APC leaders felt that INEC leadership is properly constituted, but that its operations are largely controlled by the PDP.
“While the leadership of INEC is properly constituted, the body’s bureaucracy, which does most of the work, are largely controlled by the opposition PDP. Don’t forget that most of the staff was employed during the PDP administration. As such, their loyalty is still to the PDP and those who recruited them into INEC,” a source said.
The SGF and the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF) were mandated to handle the ‘situation.’ The unfolding events in the opposition PDP were also discussed. New Telegraph was told that a report on the infiltration of PDP by APC agents was considered.
The ‘Infiltration Report’ stated the progress made so far in the PDP and that “some of the key players are working for the APC.” PDP is in crisis over the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as its national chairman. It was learnt that those charged with infiltration agenda were asked to “step up and sustain” their activities.
The idea of infiltration came about as a counter arrangement to PDP’s plot to “take over” the structures of APC in some states. Another issue that dominated the discussion was the state of the economy. The APC leaders concluded that “the state of the economy is worrisome.”
New Telegraph gathered that the party leaders advised the administration to strengthen the National Economic Team and, as a matter of urgency, appoint a Special Adviser on Economic Matters. The president has reportedly appointed Dr. Oluyemi Dipeolu as Special Adviser on Economic Matters.Dipeolu was a director in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The finance of APC was also considered.
The ruling party is broke as there is no money to meet its financial obligations. A source at the meeting said that party leaders were not impressed with its finances. Consequently, the National Working Committee (NWC) was mandated to give a financial report of the party from November 2014 till date.
They were given two weeks to submit the report. Also, New Telegraph learnt that the APC leaders decried the relationship between the Buhari-led executive and the judiciary. The submission was that the Presidency was too far from the judiciary. The APC leaders advised that the executive should carry the judiciary along in its major policy decision, not to pervert justice.
On the anti-graft war, the leaders stated that the executive ought to have shared its vision with the judiciary, so that they can have a collective vision in the fight against corrup-tion. They also agreed that it was a tactical error for the Presidency to have accused the judiciary of frustrating the anti-graft war. “One of the critical issues examined at the meeting was the frosty relationship between the Buhari-led administration and the judiciary. Both arms are not on the same page, especially on the fight against corruption.
“Don’t forget that President Buhari and his vice, Osinbajo, have accused the judiciary of sabotaging the graft war. The president openly stated that the judiciary was his headache in the fight against corruption. The vice president also made a similar remark about the judiciary.
“So, we agreed that this was a tactical error. We concluded that the relationship between the executive and the judiciary must be cemented for quality governance,” a source familiar with the meeting told New Telegraph. It was learnt that the rulings of the Supreme Court on Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba governorship elections were extensively discussed at the meeting. APC leaders, including the national chairman, Oyegun, had openly condemned the rulings, which went against the governing party in favour of the opposition PDP.
At the meeting, the APC leaders rued the judgements. They, however, attributed the outcomes to many factors – the negative disposition of the executive to the judiciary and Rotimi Amaechi’s attitude to the bench. New Telegraph was told that the relationship between the judiciary and Amaechi, former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, was partly responsible for the loss of Rivers. APC and its governorship candidate in Rivers, Dakuku Peterside, won at the tribunal and Court of Appeal as the courts ordered a fresh election, but lost at the apex court.
Peterside is a protégée of Amaechi. Rivers State judiciary was shut down for almost a year in the last days of Amaechi. A source told New Telegraph that Amaechi, as a creation of the judiciary – he became governor through the court – did not show respect to the judiciary and that this partly affected the party in court. The leaders thus sounded a note of caution on how to handle the judiciary. Buhari was on foreign trip when the meeting was held.

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