Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the February 25 presidential election, met for four hours in Paris, France, on Monday.
The subject of their discussion centred around the formation of national government and the likelihood of Kwankwaso being part of such arrangement in the in-coming administration.
Tinubu plans to form a “government of national unity” — which means giving certain positions to opposition parties.
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.
The meeting also discussed issues around the election of the legislative leaders ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the 10th national assembly, according to TheCable.
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 into an alliance with the opposition to upend 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 to elect the top two leaders in the respective chambers.
Tinubu’s representatives have also been meeting with key figures in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), According to TheCable.
The Paris meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso started at 12.30pm and ended at 4.45pm, insiders told TheCable.
It’s understood that 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.
At the meeting, 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.
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