The Presidency, on Wednesday, said there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
There have been reports that the crack between the camps of the two leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has widened ahead of the 2023 politicking.
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Daily Trust had exclusively reported on Wednesday, how the crack in the two camps is widening. Before publishing the report, Daily Trust made several efforts to get the reaction of the presidency through a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, but he did not respond to calls and a text message sent to him.
But yesterday Shehu, in a statement, said the president and Tinubu have a very strong commitment to the party.
“It is quite unfortunate 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.
“This administration is aware of pessimists and cynics who wilfully 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 the war against corruption in the country and will not be diverted to anything else. This desperate attempt to fool the people will not succeed,” he said.
Explaining the 14 months absence of Tinubu from the Villa, he said: “If the Asiwaju is not a frequent face in 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.”
Daily Trust investigation had revealed that the last time the two leaders met was on January 7, 2020, when Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, visited the State House, Abuja.
Tinubu’s absence from the villa is being interpreted in many quarters as a manifestation of a rift between his camp and that of President Buhari with the 2023 presidential election as the bone of contention.
Impeccable sources including in the presidency had told Daily Trust that the rift between the camps of the two leaders had reached a crescendo.
One of the sources, a member of the first family, while explaining the rift, said there were efforts to convince the president to support a candidate that would protect his (Buhari’s) interest when he exits the presidency in 2023.
“We believe that Tinubu will not protect Buhari’s interest after his tenure, hence the need to look elsewhere,” he said.
Similarly, a cabinet member said: “The president is not interested in Tinubu’s candidature because he is not convinced that Asiwaju is the right person to succeed him.”