By JIDE AJANI, Editor, Northern Operations
ABUJA—PRESIDENTIAL flagbearer of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari, for the first time, Wednesday, came face to face with realities of the merger/alliance talks between his party and the leaders of Action Congress of Nigeria, CAN.
He discovered that contrary to reports he had been getting from his handlers, there was yet to be any deal on the table.
Also, there are strong indications that leaders of the ACN may be experiencing frustrations from leaders of the CPC on account of the plethora of what a source described as “surreptitious moves to individual leaders of the ACN with a view to exerting pressures for purposes of getting some concessions for General Buhari.”
Meanwhile, the meeting held 48 hours ago in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, between leaders of both parties concluded by fixing another meeting for next week.
Wednesday’s meeting brought out a lot of revelations.
Vanguard was made to understand that whereas General Buhari had become upbeat about the prospective success of the talks, “it was only on Wednesday that General Buhari was able to discover that those who had been holding purported talks with leaders of ACN never did so as a group.
Impeccable sources told Vanguard: “It was discovered that what the handlers had been doing was not what they were mandated to do by the party. The impression they gave to General Buhari was that everything was going on well. In fact, at no time did the so called talks dwell on any dropping of presidential ambition.”
What Vanguard also learnt was that it was only on Wednesday that the position papers of each of the parties were presented and exchanged formally. It was after a brief perusal of the documents that both parties agreed to meet again next week for the final position on what would become of the talks.
Interestingly, before Wednesday’s meeting in Abuja, there were reports of how the merger/alliance talks were going on and going on well.
Then came another report that the talks had finally collapsed.
However, upon proper interrogation of the processes leading up to Wednesday’s talks in Abuja, Vanguard found out that many of the pieces of information being churned out were being done by those an ACN leader described as “puppeteers. They were merely pulling the strings of their puppets”.
When Vanguard asked the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to comment on whether or not the talks had collapsed or not, he simply declined to comment.
Pressed further, he requested to know “whether Vanguard was in possession of any document declaring that the talks had collapsed.”
Another source made told Vanguard that the ACN has become “a bit more wary of the talks as trust appears not to be in big supply again.”
He added: “The mere fact that leaders of CPC went round to hold talks that were discovered not to be with the proper representatives of those in the top echelon of the ACN has poured cold water on the enthusiasm of leaders of the latter”.
“As an insider”, a source who participated in the talks told Vanguard, “I am not too sure all would be well again. But it would not be for the reasons that some people are speculating about. It would be for reasons which go far deeper than somebody stepping down for the other or not”.