THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has offered to retain Dr Bukola Saraki, as the Senate President should the party win the majority of seats in the Senate in the 2019 general elections.
The PDP which is trying to woo Saraki over to its side, also promised him that he would be given the privilege to choose his people to occupy some juicy positions in the country.
Other sumptuous offers the PDP gave Saraki when the party leaders visited him in Ilorin during last week, were that he would have two senatorial slots out of the three in Kwara State, as well as five out of the six House of Representatives seats.
In addition to that, make it gathered that the PDP promised the former two-term governor of Kwara State 60 percent of the state executive members and the governorship slot.
MakeIt reports: “The offer is that in the event that the party wins majority in the Senate, he (Saraki) will be returned as the Senate President. Additionally, he will be given one of the three senatorial tickets in Kogi State to accommodate Senator Dino Melaye.”
A source, close to the Senate President, said Saraki seems more receptive to PDP’s tempting offers than he is to the APC’s counter package.
The source added that the feeling in Saraki’s camp towards the President Muhammadu Buhari led government’s counter move was that Buhari would not have courted the Senate President if he had been jailed on account of his false asset declaration case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
A leading national newspaper, the Nation reported on Saturday, July 21 that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC leadership also considered juicy offers for Saraki to prevent his defection to the PDP.
The report said that some prominent leaders of the party, including the coordinator of the party’s reconciliation committee, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would be involved in the negotiation with Saraki.
Tinubu was said to have been briefed about the President’s interaction with Saraki and others.
But Saraki, at a meeting at the Presidential Villa, was reported to have been frank in expressing his mind.
He was said to have expressed his disappointment with some of the party’s leaders.
He said he felt humiliated by the party he co-founded and the government he jointly put in place with others.
The report said most APC leaders, governors and other members were unhappy that the party was on the verge of losing Saraki to PDP.
They believed that the defection of such a “political heavyweight” to the opposition might affect the chances of APC in the 2019 polls.
The newspaper quoted a source as saying that, “At least, for the first time, there was a frank session between the President and Saraki.
“We were all sober while he relived his travails, because none of us would pray to be in such a situation.
“We understood him but we felt it was time to forgive and forget in order to move forward.
“As part of preventing Saraki’s defection, we may offer him juicy terms including: automatic return as the President of the Senate in 2019, more consultation and inclusiveness in key decisions henceforth, mutual Executive-Legislature relationship, revisiting all issues raised by nPDP Caucus which formed the basis of talks in the past few months.”
Other offers the APC reportedly gave the Senate President included reconciling with all aggrieved leaders of nPDP and avoiding a repeat of past mistakes which led to his humiliation
“We also appeal to Saraki to shelve moves to defect to PDP or any other party. We agreed that he has a better stake in APC than any other party,” the source added.
Asked if Saraki made any commitment, the source reportedly added: “There was none yet, but the atmosphere was cordial and hopeful.
“After the meeting, he even bowed well to the President.
“The session was the climax of talks in the past few months. As one of our leaders, we leave the final decision to Saraki to take.
“But one thing was clear from Saraki: he will want all commitments put into writing and documented in case of any breach in the future.
“To some of us who have been wooing him, such a demand is in order. It is a case of once bitten, twice shy.