Written by Okey Muogbo and Leon Usigbe:
• Atiku, Northern emirs visit Acting President in Aso Rock
MORE facts have emerged on why the four Christian clerics who met ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua on Monday had to seek audience with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday. A source in the presidency told the Nigerian Tribune on Thursday that the men were shocked that what they thought was a private visit had turned into a huge political matter far beyond their wildest imagination.
According to the source, the four men, who were being branded in government circles as having joined the notorious cabal of the dissolved federal cabinet, had visited the acting president to pledge their loyalty and convince him that they were not part of the cabal, by disclosing the condition they met Yar’Adua to him.
The presidency was said to have been jolted by the report in the media that some Christian clerics went to meet Yar’Adua without informing the acting president as protocol demanded.
The source added that the acting president’s camp was troubled because they least expected such action from Christian leaders from whom Jonathan went to seek divine blessings.
It was also gathered that members of the churches of the clerics found it difficult to accept their explanations that the visit to Yar’Adua was a private one.
“It was a combination of these factors,” the source said “that made the four pastors to rush back to the Villa, on Wednesday, to brief Jonathan.”
They were said to have used the meeting to tell the acting president the true condition of Yar’Adua, though they did not plan to disclose the condition initially.
Meanwhile, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who is on the verge of returning to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), met with the acting presiden on Wednesday evening.
The meeting, which took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was however non-political, as the former vice-president had accompanied the newly installed Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Mohammed Barkindo, on a visit to the acting president.
Atiku has recently initiated a process of returning to the PDP, which provided him the platform to become the nation’s number two citizen in 1999, after he had left the party to join the rival Action Congress (AC), following disagreements with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the hierarchy of the PDP.
He has recently been involved in the move by the opposition to form a mega party, but that appeared to have suffered a hiccup in recent weeks, forcing Atiku to re-evaluate his relationship with proponents of the mega party.
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