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2011: Atiku, IBB, Saraki meet in Abuja ...IBB to nominate Running Mate, Saraki, Chief of Staff ...Power sharing formula on the table …Ben Obi is Director of Campaign

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Ibrahim Babangida
Feelers from Abuja indicate that Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and Bukola Saraki, are having preliminary talks towards a merger of the three blocs. The trio which met earlier today at the Asokoro home of the former Vice President for three hours, picked Senator Ben Obi as Director of the Atiku Campaign organization.

The trio , aware that the Adamu Ciroma committee's choice of Atiku slightly polarized the region, decided to come together, and tackle President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

Sources at the meeting which commenced at about 1pm, Nigeria time, told that the trio discussed ways of coming together to form a formidable front against President Goodluck Jonathan, sharing power and picking a vice Presidential candidate. sources hinted that the meeting agreed that Babangida would submit the name of his preferred running mate for Atiku, while Saraki would be made Chief of Staff if Atiku eventually becomes the sole occupant of Aso Rock.

Our source also hinted that Babangida reiterated the need for Atiku's running mate to come from the south east.

It was further gathered that Atiku agreed that Babangida, and Saraki would be allowed to nominate ministers and heads of Federal Government agencies if he (Atiku) wins. sources also said another issue that came up was the stance of some northern Governors who have vowed to stop Atiku. They are Adamawa's Murtala Nyako, Wamakko of Sokoto, Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi.

It was learnt that the reluctance of the Adamawa PDP to embrace Atiku was also a talking point at the Asokoro parley. gathered that Atiku pleaded with Babangida especially, to prevail on some of the northern Governors loyal to him (IBB), to come to his (Atiku) fold.

According to the source “ Atiku is really worried about the Adamawa problem and the role Nyako is playing. He is aware that Nyako a service chief under IBB is seen as a Babangida boy. So Atiku feels IBB could ask Nyako to change his mind”

Said our source” they have been talking for a while since Atiku became the consensus candidate. So today they met in Atiku's house for over three hours. It was IBB who first arrived a little after 12 noon. They are putting together a team that would face Jonathan in the primaries”

“ The calculation is, if they back Atiku at the primaries, and he eventually wins, Saraki would be made Chief Of Staff, while Babangida is to pick Atiku's running mate, it is however not clear where he would come from , but from IBB's previous utterances , he could pick an Igbo man”


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