Presidency Denies Calling for Keyamo’s Removal as APC Campaign Spokesman
•It’s fake news, minister declares
•Tinubu, Shettima travel to UK amidst campaign list controversy
•Buhari back in Abuja after UNGA77 summit in New York
Deji Elumoye and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Presidency yesterday described as fake news an online report that President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the removal of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo as spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.
Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, in reaction to the report by the online newspaper, stressed that the unfounded report was part of conspiracy theories being hatched by detractors to defame the ruling party.
He noted that both President Muhammadu Buhari and APC presidential flag bearer, Mr. Bola Tinubu were satisfied with Keyamo’s performance as campaign spokesman.
Shehu, in a statement explained: “The news that President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the removal of Festus Keyamo, SAN as a spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council is fake news.
“Both President Buhari and the Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu are happy with the job Keyamo doing, and with the general set up of the impending campaign, which has already become an example for other parties.
“We aware that conspiracy theories are being hatched with a ripple effect to defame our party leaders and hold back the campaign. Supporters of our candidates should not pay attention to “news” from these fountains of false narratives”.
Also reacting to the report, Keyamo described it as fake news.
Reacting to the report in a tweet from his verified twitter handle, Keyamo wrote: “Very funny fake news. When people feel uncomfortable with your uncompromising defence of your mandate, they promote such fake news to achieve a purpose.
“The opposition think they can plant stories to destabilise our ranks. This is the height of the panic mode they find themselves.”
However, amidst the controversy that trailed the presidential campaign council list of the ruling APC, its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is off to the United Kingdom.
The trip, it was gathered, was earlier scheduled last week but had to be delayed as a result of the controversy that trailed the presidential campaign council list.
A source who pleaded anonymity disclosed that Tinubu’s trip to London was to rest for about a week, take a break from all the meetings at home and prepare for the campaign.
However, the source couldn’t confirm if the APC presidential candidate would be meeting with the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike.
Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima left Nigeria for London on Saturday while Wike and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom left for London on Friday.
The source added that the APC presidential candidate may also see his doctors for a medical check-up.
The source stated: “He’s not in London to see Wike, that is not why is there. He is in London for a short holiday to prepare him for the campaigns.
“I know that he’s in London to rest and prepare himself for the campaign. It is not impossible that he will see his doctors. His doctors are in London, he might want to see them, he will do a medical check-up. It is not that he’s sick
“If he will see Wike, I don’t know, but of course politicians will always be politicians, I can’t put a bet on it,” the source added.
The ruling party would flag-off its presidential campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State, on October 10.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of APC, Chief Sam Nkire has predicted that Nigerian voters would reject the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and vote for the APC due to his inability to keep promises and earn public trust.
He noted that any political party or its chairman who cannot keep to its or his words is not worthy of the people’s votes and trust.
Nkire said: “For Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to deny saying that he would resign as National Chairman of PDP if a northerner became presidential candidate of PDP is most appalling and disgraceful, especially as he was caught on tape and in print.”
Buhari Back in Abuja After UNGA77 Summit in New York
Meanwhile, Buhari has returned to Abuja after an eight-day visit to New York, the United States (US), where he participated in the 77th edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77), his last as Nigerian President.
The president, who arrived the presidential wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, in the early hours of yesterday, was received by top government officials including the Chief Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello; Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, and some senior military and intelligence officers.
While in New York, Buhari apart from giving the national statement, which happened to be his farewell message to the UNGA, also engaged in a couple of bilateral agreements and some other special events including meeting with some selected Diaspora Nigerians resident in the US, all on the sidelines of the UNGA77.