By Ismaila Chafe
Former governor of Lagos and APC national leader, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not a frequent face at the Aso Rock Villa because he is not a cabinet member of Buhari government, the Presidency said on Wednesday.
Reacting to reports of possible crack in the camps of Buhari and Tinubu ahead the 2023 polls, presidential media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, said: “If 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 around the Villa everyday does not make him less of a friend to the president and this administration,’’ he said.
He therefore insisted that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his strong ally, Sen. Bola Tinubu, as reported by a national daily.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, made the clarification in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
The statement read in part: “The President and the Asiwaju have a very strong commitment to All Progressives Congress (APC) towards bringing CHANGE and this is a commitment they have made to the Nigerian people.
“Recent reports of a rift between the two leaders of our party are false; the handiwork of some media mischief makers.
`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 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 and will not be diverted to anything else.
“This desperate attempt to fool the people will not succeed.”
Garba further said that Buhari and Tinubu remained one of the most respected political leaders in the country, stressing that the APC national leader had stuck to his principles, even in the face of all adversities.
“He (Tinubu) was instrumental to the formation, growth and development of APC into a formidable political party and the political alliance is waxing even stronger.