The All Progressives Congress (APC) Strategy and Contact Committee Chairman, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, yesterday said stories about alleged rift between President Buhari and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu were being pushed by some unnamed people to heat up the polity.
He said, “I think people wanted to see that and that will not happen. I believe it is all politics. President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu and all the leaders of the party speak with one voice.
“They are pushing that story about President Buhari and Tinubu to certainly heat the polity. But it is not true. We know that the party is one indivisible and all the stakeholders are being carried along.”
Badaru’s clarifications came a day after the Presidency dismissed the alleged rift which it described as “handiwork of cynics.”
A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, and released to the public on Wednesday described the speculation as unfounded, explaining that President Buhari and Tinubu “have a very strong commitment to the All Progressives Congress, APC, towards bringing change and this is a commitment they have made to the Nigerian people.”
According to the statement, “The Presidency wishes to make it clear that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his strong ally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The President and the Asiwaju have a very strong commitment to the All Progressives Congress, APC, towards bringing change and this is a commitment they have made to the Nigerian people.”
The statement regretted that certain sections of the media feed on birthing controversies, providing a nexus for naysayers who work behind the scenes planting such stories which are absolutely false.
The statement adds: “This administration is aware of pessimists and cynics who willfully spread misinformation to create doubts in the minds of the people about the relationship between its leaders and whether the party will remain intact or not. There is no doubt that the President and the party are focused on development, peace and security, restructuring of the economy and war against corruption in the country and will not be diverted to anything else. This desperate attempt to fool the people will not succeed.
“To President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu remains one of the most respected political leaders in the country who has stuck to his principles in the face of all adversities. He was instrumental to the formation, growth and development of the APC into a formidable political party and the political alliance is waxing even stronger.
“If the Asiwaju is not a frequent face in the Aso Rock Villa, it is on account of the fact that he is not a cabinet member of this government. The fact that he is not every day around the Villa does not make him less of a friend to the President and this administration.”
Political affairs watchers blamed the controversy on preparations for the 2023 general elections amidst speculation that Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State might be warming up for the Presidential contest.