Pius Anyim has said his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari transcends partisan politics and should not be seen as a prelude to his defection to the All Progressives Congress.
“My friendship with President Buhari transcends politics,” the former Senate President told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Friday night.
Mr Anyim met with Mr Buhari in camera on Friday afternoon, an unusual and unexpected mingling in which many are already seeing a political undertone.
Similar visits by politicians who were not previously aligned with Mr Buhari often resulted in them defecting to his All Progressives Congress (APC).
Perhaps the biggest and most recent of such realignments came on August 8 when Godswill Akpabio, a PDP stalwart, moved to the APC.
Prior to the move, Mr Akpabio held talks with Mr Buhari, and later with other APC leaders, behind closed doors.
Mr Anyim was also once questioned by the anti-graft EFCC, but detectives did not immediately say whether they found anything incriminating he did while in office and no charges were filed.
Some politicians have been accused of moving to the APC to escape EFCC prosecution, but Mr Anyim assured that he was not joining the APC under any immediate circumstances.
“The idea that I met with the president to lay the groundwork for my defection does not arise at all,” he emphasised.
“I have been friends with the president for a long time and I will continue to be for a long time,” Mr Anyim added. “We can be friends without aligning politically.”
Mr Anyim said he had arrived in Port-Harcourt for the PDP national convention on Saturday.
“I came into Port-Harcourt this evening to participate in our national convention tomorrow,” he said.