Ahead of the planned May 29, 2023 inauguration of the incoming administration, the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the February 25 presidential election, met for four hours in Paris, France, on Monday, IgbereTV has learned.
According to the Cable, at the centre of the discussion, was the potential involvement of Kwankwaso in the in-coming administration as Tinubu plans to form a “government of national unity” — which means giving certain positions to opposition parties.
The meeting also discussed issues around the election of the legislative leaders ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the 10th national assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has zoned the two top positions in both chambers but some of its members are kicking against the formula and threatening to go in alliance with the opposition to torpedo the arrangement.
While APC has 59 senators and 175 members of the houses of reps, NNPP has two and 19 respectively.
A simple majority of 56 senators and 181 reps are needed elect the top two leaders in his house respectively.
Tinubu’s representatives have also been meeting with key figures in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Paris meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso started at 12.30pm and ended at 4.45pm, insiders told TheCable.
Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of reps and presumptive chief of staff to the president-elect, attended the meeting while Abdulmumin Jibrin, an NNPP rep-elect and former leader of a Tinubu campaign organisation, accompanied Kwankwaso.
Oluremi Tinubu, senator and wife of president-elect received Kwankwaso’s wife, Salamatu.
Aro Okeigbo Blog understands that Tinubu and Kwankwaso reminisced on their relationship dating back to the national assembly in 1992.
Tinubu was a senator while Kwankwaso was deputy speaker in the house of reps.
According to TheCable Kwankwaso, in principle, agreed to join Tinubu’s government subject to consultations with the stakeholders on both sides.
Tinubu is expected to brief Kashim Shettima, the vice-president elect, APC governors forum and other party leaders while Kwankwaso will do same with his party leadership.
Aro Okeigbo Blog learnt that Tinubu expressed concern over the strained relations between Abdullahi Ganduje, outgoing governor of Kano state, and Kwankwaso, and promised to broker peace between them.
Ganduje was deputy to Kwankwaso when he was governor of Kano from 2011 to 2015 but they have soon parted ways.
Tinubu polled 8,797,726 votes to win the presidential election, beating PDP’s Atiku Abubakar by a margin of of two million.
However, Kwankwaso polled 1.5 million which many analysts believe were votes that could have gone to Atiku if the former Kano governor had not defected from the PDP.