The presidency emphasizes that since Tinubu isn’t a member of cabinet, nothing should be read into his absence from the villa.
The presidency says there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Recent media reports have painted the duo as engaging in something of a cold war ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
There have been reports that Tinubu hasn’t sat down with Buhari in 14 months and that the president is deploying the might of the anti-corruption agencies against Tinubu–a former governor of Lagos who is rumoured to be nursing a presidential ambition and who intends to succeed Buhari.
In a statement sent to Pulse, Garba Shehu who is the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity says “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.
“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.”President Muhammadu Buhari and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu embark on a foreign trip circa 2018
Shehu also adds that Tinubu doesn’t have to visit the presidential villa all the time since he is not a member of cabinet.
“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,” the statement adds.
Tinubu who controls the APC in the southwest region, was instrumental to Buhari’s election victories in 2015 and 2019.
Stories of a rift between Tinubu and Buhari also made the rounds before Buhari won a second term in office in 2019.