Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi Tuesday held a private meeting in Abuja, Nigeria after they both attended the inauguration of Nigeria's President Bola Ahmed Tinubu the day before.
The meeting came on the same day Mr Kenyatta was expected to attend a planned Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting in Nairobi.
It also comes at a time after Mr Kenyatta accused President William Ruto’s government of a plot to snatch Jubilee Party from him, a plan he said will not scare him.
The Azimio PG meeting was expected to give a way forward, and on Tuesday nominated Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje to replace nominated MP Sabina Chege—ss National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip.
In pictures released by Mr Kenyatta’s office, the duo appeared cordial, shook hands, and were pictured in a relaxed mode in what looked like a private lounge.
“Former President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta earlier today met with Prime Cabinet Secretary Hon. Musalia Mudavadi in Abuja. The two leaders were in Nigeria to attend the Inauguration of H.E. Bola Tinubu as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Mr Kenyatta’s office said in a tweet a few minutes after 5pm.
Both offices did not give any more details of the meeting.
Earlier, in his speech in Abuja, Mr Mudavadi stressed the need for African leaders to build strong political foundations for the growth of democracy and economic power on the continent.
He said it was high time African leaders seized the opportunity presented by changing global dynamics to promote constitutionalism, progressive democracy and fidelity to the rule of law.
"The tenets of democracy call for fidelity to the rule of law and adherence to constitutional guidelines. African leaders should rise to the occasion and set an example of leaders who mean well for their people by always doing what is right," said Mr Mudavadi.
He made the remarks during bilateral talks on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 16th President of Nigeria, Tinubu, on behalf of President Ruto.
Acknowledging the challenging global economic climate and its impact on African countries, he emphasised the need for political stability, peace and sustainable democratic systems to effectively navigate these precarious times.
Mr Mudavadi called for increased bilateral cooperation between Kenya and Nigeria, highlighting the existing cordial relations in various fields.
He emphasised that both countries have engaged in extensive discussions on key areas of mutual interest that would not only benefit their respective citizens, but also contribute to the progress of the entire continent.
Mr Mudavadi highlighted the importance of several cooperation agreements signed between Kenya and Nigeria, which serve as the basis for commitments in trade, service delivery and the promotion of democratic growth.
"We have signed a number of agreements, including one establishing a Joint Commission on Cooperation in 2013, one on cooperation on immigration signed in May 2014 and many more," Mudavadi pointed out.
He called on the foreign ministries of both countries to work closely with their respective High Commissions to ensure progressive evaluation and monitoring of the decisions taken when the instruments of cooperation were signed.Discussions also covered the current state of transport links between Kenya and Nigeria, with the latter's domestic aviation sector seen as having huge potential for Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways, to tap into.
Kenya and Nigeria are major players in their respective regions.
While Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, Kenya is a major economic hub in East Africa, so there are many opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries.
Kenya's main exports to Nigeria include tea, horticultural products, textiles and processed foods, while Nigeria exports petroleum products, cement and chemicals to Kenya.