Laleye Dipo in Minna
Senate President, Bukola Saraki wednesday paid a private visit to former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), in Niger State.
Saraki, who arrived Minna, the state capital, by air at about 3.58 p.m., was driven in a motorcade to the hill top residence of Babangida.
He was accompanied by Senator Shaba Lafiagi, two other senators and four other aides.
Authoritative source told THISDAY that the state government was informed about Saraki’s “private visit” while the governor was presiding over the weekly state executive council meeting at the council chambers.
It was further gathered that coincidentally, the state Governor, Sani Bello, adjourned the meeting and went to Abuja for “an important assignment.”
However, Saraki was received by the state Commissioner for Investment as the governor was already on his way to Abuja.
Political observers attributed Bello’s action to the fact that the Senate president had defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was also learnt that the governor’s action was to further reemphasise the fact that he still belongs to the APC contrary to the rumours that he was decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the Senate president.
Meanwhile, the meeting between Babangida and Saraki held behind closed doors lasted for two hours.
Their discussion, according to political observers, was not unconnected with last Tuesday’s siege to the National Assembly and the political situation in the country as well as his reported plan to contest for president in 2019.
Saraki and his entourage left the Babangida’s residence at about 5.55p.m. and arrived at the airport at 6.16 p.m. but declined to talk to journalists.
One of his aides, however, told journalists that “this is a private visit, so he will not talk to anyone.”
The Senate president later flew off in a chartered flight with registration number 5NBOD at about 6.20p.m.