President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday night met behind closed doors with the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The meeting was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. That was the third time the two leaders would be meeting after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Buhari winner of the March 28 presidential election. The Wednesday meeting, just like the first one they had on a public holiday (Good Friday), was described as “private” and so it was not opened to journalists.
Buhari was said to have arrived for the meeting in a convoy of about four cars at about 9pm. The meeting was said to have lasted less than 30 minutes. Although there was no official communication on the meeting, it might not be unconnected with the ongoing transition programmes and preparation for Buhari’s inauguration on May 29. At the end of their second meeting, Jonathan had told State House correspondents that a date would be picked during which he would conduct Buhari round the Presidential Villa before his inauguration day.
When contacted, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Mallam Garba Shehu, said although he heard there was a meeting, he could not confirm it. He said:
“I heard there was a meeting but I have no idea where or when it held or what was discussed.”
However, it was learnt that the little or no progress being made by the transition committees they both set up might be the major agenda of the meeting. It will be recalled that the President’s Political Adviser, Prof. Rufai Alkali, had in a statement he issued in Abuja, on Wednesday told the APC that it could not stampede Jonathan out of office.
He accused the APC of failing to set up its transition committee long after the President had constituted his own. In response, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, accused the presidential adviser of being economical with the truth. This, he said, was because the President’s transition team had been stalling and refusing to meet with that of the president-elect.