President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with APC governors.
In attendance were Gov Okorocha, Gov Shettima, Gov Yahaya Bello, Mallam El-Rufai, Akinwumi Ambode, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, SGF Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff Mallam Abba Kyari and Katsina Gov. Rt Hon Aminu Masari and others.
The meeting follows an announcement that the president will be proceeding to the UK for a 10-day vacation.
Answering questions from journalists after a closed-door meeting with the president, the Chairman of APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, lamented the defection of three governors on the platform of the ruling party to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing it as unfortunate.
He said the APC governors visited the president to pledge their loyalty to both the APC and President Buhari.
Okorocha said the defection notwithstanding, the party remained stronger and even more united.
He said: “Two of our colleagues left our party. This is politics, it is unfortunate that they have to go. We have 22 states, 53 senators. Nobody is leaving the party anymore. Those who have left, we are aware that they will leave long ago.
“PMB means well and he is willing to fight corruption and you all know if you are fighting corruption, it will fight back and this is what’s happening. As you are aware, three of our governors left our party and we got one in through Ekiti.
“This is politics, it is unfortunate that they have to go. But that has not in any way reduce our party or has it in any way touched us. We are still as strong, even stronger and more united.”
President Buhari had Wednesday night met with the governors behind closed-doors at the Presidential Villa.
Attended by 15 governors and a deputy governor, the meeting which started at about 9.46p.m. ended at 10.28p.m.
Present at the meeting were: Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Abubakar Bello of Niger and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna.
Others were Simon Lalong of Plateau, Mohammed Jibrilla of Adamawa, Abubakar Bugudu of Kebbi and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, and Godwin Obaseki of Edo.
The Deputy Governor of Osun State, Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori represented the governor.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha also attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, President Buhari will Thursday embark on a 10-day vacation to London.
According to a terse statement by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, while the president is away, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would act as president.
“In compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, a letter has been transmitted to the President of the Senate, and the Speaker, House of Representatives to that effect.
“While the president is on vacation, the vice-president will be in acting capacity as president.
“President Buhari will be in London for the holiday,” the statement read.