The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and a former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, held a secret meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
The visit came less than 24 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo met with Buhari.
Addressing State House correspondents after the one-hour meeting, Tinubu, who is a former Governor of Lagos State, said he did not come to submit any ministerial list to the President.
“What can I do about that, they have the right to speculate, they have the right to their lies and I have the right to debunk,” he said.
However, a reliable source said the ministerial list was one of the topics discussed at the meeting.
The source said just as Tinubu was given the power to pick Buhari’s running mate during the electioneering, Buhari was giving him the privilege of filling some positions that should go to the South-West.
He said, “Buhari never marginalised the South-West as is being reported. Most of the northern appointments that Buhari made are those that will work closely with him in the villa and Tinubu was not really interested in them.
“It was Tinubu that recommended Babatunde Fowler to head the Federal Inland Revenue Service and that is the next best thing after oil which many people don’t understand.
“Buhari has insisted that people that are answering to cases of corruption will not be part of his government and Tinubu is aware of this. He has recommended a former commissioner in Lagos for appointment too and he will be part of Buhari’s economic team even if he is not appointed as a minister.”
When asked how many ministerial slots Buhari had given Tinubu, the source said he could not say for sure but added that Buhari was planning to compensate Tinubu for losing out to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara during the National Assembly internal elections
He added, “Every state is expected to produce a minister and we already know that there will be some issues with some stubborn state governors. So, if Tinubu loses out at the ministerial level, he will be made to nominate the chairman of some parastatals and government agencies.”
When asked to explain why Tinubu and Akande chose to visit Buhari just a day after Obasanjo, the source said, “It was purely coincidental. Buhari is travelling out of the country tomorrow (today) and Tinubu wanted to tidy up some things before the President’s departure.”
Meanwhile, Tinubu has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party’s allegations of dictatorship levelled against President Buhari.
Tinubu, in an interview with State House correspondents said the PDP should be quiet, if it did not have anything to say.
The former governor stated that the PDP created the rot that Buhari was cleaning, adding that the rot could not be swept under the carpet.
The PDP governors, after a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday said Nigeria was sliding into dictatorship under the leadership of Buhari.
Defending the President, Tinubu said, “What is dictatorship about what he has done? He has helped to stimulate the economy in the various states and that is where the people are. So what is dictatorship? And the institutional paralysis had occurred in the country.
“It is very important for a steady man like the President to really help the nation recover from the paralysis and that is what he is doing so I don’t see what is dictatorial about that. If they don’t have anything to say, they rather be quiet. They created what is wrong here today and we can’t sweep that under the carpet. There must be rule of law.”
He also denied a claim that he went to the Presidential Villa to submit the ministerial list to Buhari, saying, “What can I do about that, they have the right to speculate, they have the right to their lies and I have the right to debunk.”
The APC leader said that there was no power struggle between him and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar
“Our party is not even looking at the direction of power struggle or anything of such. The support structure is to encourage and support the President as you have heard from Chief Bisi Akande, to help him institutionalize his goal, principle and vision for a new Nigeria,” Tinubu stated.
He defended Buhari against criticisms that trailed his delay in releasing ministerial list, adding that there was a pitfall in rushing.
Tinubu stated, “Rush can cascade into mistakes of unimaginable magnitude. There is equally glory and recovery in slowness, when you have a slow fix of a bad foundation. So to me, I would rather take the one that will last the country and endeavour for a longer period of time than the rush hour shopping.”
Also speaking, Akande, who was at the meeting, said the President “inherited piles of rot.” He said that they discussed the rot the PDP left for it was defeated.