It also had the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in attendance, as well as 43 senators elected on the platform of the ruling party.
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Barely 24 hours after 14 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Muhammadu Buhari held an emergency meeting with the remaining senators, in a last ditched effort to stem further defections.
The meeting, which started at 10:20pm and lasted for barely 20 minutes, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last night. It also had the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in attendance, as well as 43 senators elected on the platform of the ruling party.
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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was listed among those expected at the meeting, was conspicuously absent. Senator Joshua Dariye, who is in prison serving 14 years jail term for misappropriation of N1.162 billion ecological fund for the state, was also listed to attend the meeting.
Dariye was found guilty and convicted on 15 out of the 23 count charge bothering on criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation of Plateau State ecological funds to the tune of N1.162billion.
Apart from Oshiomhole, other tops hots of the APC government who attended the meeting include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang and other presidential aides.
Senator representing Ogun Central at the National Assembly, Lanre Tejuoso, whose name was listed among those who dumped APC on Tuesday, showed up to the meeting to the surprise of many and received applause from everyone present, including President Buhari.
Tejuoso had said he had defected from APC but still making consultations on which political party to align himself with. During the introduction at the meeting yesterday, his response was greeted with laughter, as he declared: “Mr. President, your son is back home.”
Buhari after Tejuosho’s introduction said: “What would I have told Kabiyesi”, referring to Dapo Tejuosho, the Oshile of Oke Ona Egbaland.
Some of those present were Adamu Aleiro, Bala Ibn Na-Allah, Aliyu Wamako, Ibrahim Gobir, Kabiru Marafa, Abu Ibrahim, Kabiru Gaya, Barau Jibrin, Abdullahi Gumel, Shehu Sani, Ahmed Lawan, Ali Ndume, Abubakar Kyari, Baba Kaka Garbai, Aliyu Abdullahi, David Umaru, and Abdullahi Adamu.
Others were George Akume, Francis Alimekhina, Andrew Uchendu, Magnus Abe, Ovie Omo-Agege, John Enoh, Nelson Effiong, Andy Uba, Sunny Ugboji, Hope Uzodinma, Ben Uwajimogu, Yusuf Yusuf, Oluremi Tinubu, Gbenga Ashafa, Solomon Adeola, Tayo Alasoadura, Soji Akanbi, Ajayi Boroface, Yele Omogunwa, Fatima Rasaki, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Yahaya Abdullahi.
Senators absent, apart from Saraki and Dariye, were Tuani Kaura, Sani Yerima, Umaru Kurfi, Sabo Muhammed, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Mustapha Mohammed, Danjuma Goje, Binta
Garba, Ahmed Abubakar, Gbolahan Dada, Babajide Omowarare, Abdulfatai Buhari and Olusola Adeyeye.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, said the senators came to inform President Buhari about the development at the Senate. He said the senators assured president that they still maintained the majority in the Senate.
Lawan expressed the hope that the defected senators would return to APC, as some of them are retracing their steps. He cited the presence of Senator Tejusoso as example of what would happen soon. Senator lawn said President Buhari received the senators well and was hopeful that they would maintain a united front.
On his part, Oshiomhole said the party was making efforts to resolve whatever grievances earlier expressed.
In his comments, Senator Shehu Sani said although he attended the meeting, some the grievances he had were yet to be resolved.
He said he is open to discussion, hoping that they would be resolved.