Buhari in secret meeting with Mark, Masari, others

IN a move ostensibly meant to resolve the frosty executive-legislature relationship, President  Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, met behind closed-doors with former Senate President, David Mark.

The meeting took place inside the president’s office.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, was also present in the president’s office at the time, but it was not clear whether he was part of the meeting.

Also present during the time of the meeting was the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang.

Mark, who was making his first ever open visit to the Presidential Villa since the inception of the present administration, arrived alone at about 2.55 p.m. and walked straight to the president’s office, venue of the meeting.

The Benue senator, elected on the Peoples Democratic Party’s  platform, left the president’s office at about 3.35 p.m, but declined to speak with State House correspondents when approached.

When asked what the meeting was about, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, told the Nigerian Tribune that it was a private audience.

Pressed on whether it was connected to the Executive/Senate face-off, he insisted that it was a private audience, which he said the president was entitled to have.

He said: “When the president has a private audience, you don’t report it. It was a private audience.

“We released pictures from the private audience. The president has a right to have private audience.

“All that I have told you is that it was a private audience.”

Senate President and his deputy,  Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, respectively, are presently being prosecuted for allegedly forging the Senate Rules with which they were elected into office.

But the lawmakers, who deny that charges, have blamed the Presidency for being behind their ordeal for political reasons.

The situation has led to a less-than-warm relationship between the two arms of government, with elements in the Senate allegedly threatening to initiate impeachment process against President Buhari.