- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 05:51
- Written by Daily Trust
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The talks were held at ACN leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s house at Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi. The CPC team was led by Buhari himself whileTinubu led ACN’s team.
Daily Trust learnt that the CPC leader’s presence at the talks was in response to a strongly-worded letter sent by ACN leaders to CPC last week. In it, they warned that if CPC did not respond positively to ACN’s overtures and sends a high-level delegation to conclude alliance talks by December 31, ACN will take it that CPC is no longer interested in the alliance talks and would seek other allies. ACN was seeking a firm commitment before its national convention which begins in the Edo State capital, Benin City tomorrow.
The CPC delegation at the talks included former speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari, former Secretary to the old Kano State Government Sule Yahaya Hamma, former House of Representatives member from Jigawa State Farouk Adamu, another former house member Hadi Sirika and Mrs. Joy Nene Okunu. Tinubu’s ACN delegation included former Ogun State governor Chief Segun Osoba, Lagos State ACN chairman Chief Henry Ajomale and Cardinal James Odumbaku.
The two sides met in Borgu, Niger State last week but the talks were inconclusive. Tinubu is a very close friend of the Emir of Borgu, Alhaji Halliru Dantoro.
Sources said the ACN leaders have already accepted Buhari as their joint presidential candidate. However, at last night’s meeting, they demanded that, following the APP/AD alliance formula of 1999, the CPC leader should run on ACN’s platform, since it is already too late to merge the two parties, as the ACN leaders initially preferred.
The ACN’s leaders’ demand, sources said, was because CPC is little known in the West, where ACN is now dominant, and it is easier for the ACN leaders if the joint candidate is running on their ticket. It was not clear whether the CPC leaders accepted the demand, which would make matters very difficult for them too, since CPC is just making an impact in the North and its supporters would be confused if asked to vote for ACN.
Another issue that dominated last night’s talks, sources said, was the issue of a running mate for Buhari. The ACN leaders’ first preference was for Tinubu, who became the most powerful politician in Yoruba with ACN’s snatching of several states from the PDP through the courts. However, the CPC delegation was quick to point out the political dangers of fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket, especially in some parts of the country such as the North Central Zone.
The other available ACN leader, party national chairman and former Osun State governor Chief Bisi Akande, was also ruled out because he is a Muslim. The CPC leaders then proposed that Buhari runs with Otunba Niyi Adebayo. However, a source said Adebayo himself, son of the former military governor of the old Western State Major General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, was not well disposed to the idea because he already has senatorial ambitions in Ekiti State. Since CAN now controls Ekiti and Adebayo is close to Governor Kayode Fayemi, he probably feels that a Senate campaign is more assuring.
When contacted for comments last night, member of the CPC Board of Trustees Engineer Buba Galadima confirmed that a meeting was held in Borgu and that a meeting was being held in Lagos last night, but he did not give details.
Spokesman of ACN Alhaji Lai Mohammed could not confirm yesterday’s meeting in Lagos as he said he was “putting things in order” in Benin, venue of ACN’s national convention slated for tomorrow.
The two sides’ meeting was adjourned at 9pm last night. It was to resume at 11pm and was likely to continue into the early hours of this morning.