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2019: GEJ, Atiku in Secrete Meeting

The push to get former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to decamp from the All Progressives Congress and return to the Peoples Democratic Party may have gained traction with a recent discrete meeting between him and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The perceived cross over would greatly enhance the opposition party’s bid to return to power in 2019.

The meeting said to have been held at the instance of Atiku, who was said to be seriously considering offers made to him by a section of the leadership of the opposition party to return, explored the desirability of the move and concluded that it would be a worthwhile political endeavour that could help terminate what both leading politicians regarded as the uninspiring rule of the APC.

According to sources in the know, there have been concerted efforts by some PDP leaders to bring Atiku back to the party’s fold which made the former vice president give conditions, including an assurance that he would be given its automatic ticket to contest the 2019 presidential election.

The fresh meeting with Jonathan was said to have looked into the possibility of this condition with both of them said to have agreed that all options should be kept open as the political dynamics of the country remained fluid, requiring a more pragmatic approach to the upsurge in politicking, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) warned against last week.

The electoral empire’s National Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, had cautioned politicians against political campaigns for 2019, saying the ban on electioneering was yet to be lifted in accordance with Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

But Jonathan was said to have advised Atiku to consider returning to the PDP early enough to avoid being caught by certain provisions of the party’s constitution, which stipulate a period of time a member has to spend in the party before he could be eligible to contest for a political office.

“Atiku was advised to return early to enable him to fulfil the eligibility condition in the party’s constitution and also have ample time to integrate his political structure into the PDP’s,” a source privy to the meeting said.

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