Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for about 24 hours literally became a political rendezvous for a former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as he moved all his engagements with allies and political groups to the political headquarters to the only PDP state in the zone.
Although Atiku, along with other dignitaries, was in Ibadan on the invitation of Governor Seyi Makinde as special guest for the unveiling of the remodeled Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Adamasingba, he was busy meeting individuals from across the country during his 24-hour stay.
It was gathered that some of the politicians Atiku met flew with him to Ibadan on Wednesday, while others joined him in the city.
Some of those in the meetings with Atiku were former governor of Niger State, Dr Aliyu Babangida, Senators Abiodun Olujimi, Dino Melaye and others.
There are strong indications that Atiku, who was PDP’s presidential candidate in 2019, will run in 2023.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, Atiku exclusively, has hinted one of his main allies in Ibadan of his intention to run in the 2023 presidential race.
Before the Wazirin Adamawa left Ibadan for Abuja on Thursday, he waded into the bickering between Governor Makinde and some chieftains of the governing PDP in the state.
Atiku, on Thursday, met with representatives of the PDP faction opposed to Makinde’s leadership style.
The faction, despite a peace parley championed by a former Senate President and national chairman of the party’s reconciliation committee, Dr Bukola Saraki, is threatening to hold parallel congresses in the exercise slated for later this month.
It was gathered that the faction had obtained forms for those it would field for the party’s offices at the ward, local government and state levels.
Thursday’s meeting, which was held at Carlton Gate Hotel in Idi Ape area of Ibadan, was attended by four representatives from the faction, namely Chief Nureni Akanbi, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, Alhaji Bola Akinyemi and one other leader.
The meeting with Atiku was very short as the former vice president was rushing to catch a flight back to Abuja.
But before meeting Atiku, the aggrieved Oyo PDP leaders had held an extensive discussion with a political thinktank that has been with the former vice president since his arrival.
It was gathered that the aggrieved leaders summarised the crux of the dispute with Makinde for the former vice president.
But Governor Makinde was not at the meeting held at about 10.00 a.m. on Thursday. Atiku was told by one of the leaders that the faction would mobilise all the machinery with which they ensured victory for the governor in 2019 against him in 2023.
The former vice president was said to have pleaded with the faction not to work against Makinde, while assuring them that all issues leading to disagreement would be resolved amicably. He promised them that another peace parley would be convened with Makinde in attendance, but the faction’s representatives said there was no need for such as they were tired of what they regarded as endless meetings without any success.
“During the meeting we held with Saraki in the first week of last month, the governor made certain commitments and assured the mediators that the commitments would be acutalised by the end of August.
“We are in September already and none of those commitments has been put to action. So, we don’t want further meeting. After the meeting with Saraki, all frayed nerves were calmed and people were already talking about giving peace a chance,” one of the leaders told Nigerian Tribune.
Atiku later visited the home of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, where he commiserated with the widow and South-West women leader of the party, Alhaja Bose Adedibu, who lost her mother