Indications have emerged on what loyalists of former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, discussed at a closed-door meeting held in Aso Rock with President Muhammadu Buhari.
At the meeting were the President, former Osun governor, Chief Bisi Akande, the incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, and Senator Olusola Adeyeye.
All has not been smooth between Buhari and Tinubu for over a year now.
Tinubu’s camp in the All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the President of rejecting Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, and worked against the ex-Lagos governor’s candidates in the Kogi elections and Ondo governorship primary, among others.
It was gathered that Buhari contacted Akande, a former Interim Chairman of the APC, asking him to see him in Aso Rock.
The President’s invitation followed his wife’s outburst that her husband had neglected those who helped him to power in 2015.
Claims by Professor John Paden, in his book titled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: Challenges of Leadership,’ that Tinubu was against the emergence of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Vice President had also further deepened the relationship between Tinubu and Buhari.
A source in the presidency told Punch that Akande, who cut short his trip abroad to see the President spoke bluntly during the meeting.
The source said, “Baba Akande told the President that they were not happy with him. He told Buhari that apart from not giving Tinubu sufficient consideration during the ministerial appointments, everything that played out in the Kogi and Ondo elections showed that the President was supporting Asiwaju’s enemies.
“Baba also said Paden’s book was a major slight and that they believed the President was aware of the content of the book before it went public. He further said some of the people around Buhari were hell-bent on ensuring that the President and Tinubu became enemies because of what they would gain from the crisis.”
The source stated that Buhari countered the claims, insisting that he was unhappy with the acrimony in the ruling party and that he had tried to be fair to all parties.
But Akande was said to have disagreed with the President in his response, and cited further examples.
Akande and others told the President to take steps to show that he was not fighting Tinubu and the South-West. They urged him to give honour to those that helped him to power during the next cabinet reshuffle which is expected soon.
Reacting, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of what transpired during the meeting between the President and the APC chieftains.
He said, “I am not aware of what was discussed with the President in the said meeting. As a matter of fact, it is not the nature of the President to disclose what people discuss with him in confidence during meetings.”