‘Tinubu has not been dumped, remains APC leader’, Buhari blasts Fani-Kayode, critics
NEWSMAN, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed reports insinuating that he had fallen apart with the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, describing critics like former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo as mere busy bodies for spreading such information.
The critics had made the observations following the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Thursday that had many of Tinubu’s men.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, condemned the reports, saying that those behind the reports needed to get their facts right.
He explained that the resolutions of the party’s emergency NEC meeting were aimed at safeguarding the APC from the brink of collapse and not targeted at any member of the party as being insinuated in some quarters, NAN reported.
The presidential aide noted that the intervention by NEC was widely accepted and welcomed by all lovers of democracy and members of the party nationwide.
”The very essence of the requests put to the emergency NEC meeting of the APC by President Buhari, which were unanimously approved, aim to pull back the party, faced with an existential crisis from the brink of collapse, follow the constitution and take everyone along.
”While this action has been widely accepted with great relief by lovers of democracy and the rank and file of the membership, we are concerned that political vulturism masquerading as “smart analysis” is selling the commentary that this is a Buhari-Tinubu ‘showdown’.
“Nothing can be farther from the truth.
“To put the records straight: In the formation of this great party and given its leadership, President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who are reckoned as the founding fathers of the APC are both inspired by democratic norms, national interest and not at all by partisan motivations.”
– Tinubu used and dumped, Fani-Kayode –
Fani-Kayode, had on Wednesday advised Tinubu to retire from politics and withdraw his support for President Buhari.
Fani-Kayode said this while reacting to the decision of the President to recognise Victor Giadom as the acting Chairman of the APC.
The former minister said the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, showed that it was all over for Tinubu.
“First, Oshiomhole was kicked out by the Court of Appeal. Then his preferred replacement, Abiola Ajimobi, falls into a coma. Then his archrival, Giadom is recognised by Buhari as acting national chairman”, Fani-Kayode wrote on his Facebook wall.
“Conclusion: It is over for Tinubu. He has been thrown under the bus and retired from politics”, the former Aviation minister said.
On his part, Afenifere chieftain Adebanjo said “I have worry for him (Tinubu). He knew all these things but he relied on Buhari and worked to make him the President. I said it before publicly that Buhari is deceiving Asiwaju and Asiwaju is deceiving Buhari. Everybody is trying to use the other. Why can’t Tinubu hammer on restructuring knowing that this was what brought Buhari to office?
“I have been in this game for 70 years. So, many of those who are talking now were not born then. That is the truth – even Buhari was a toddler. He is now 74. Each time I tell you, why should Tinubu, the Vice-President (Yemi Osinbajo) and all those who were in Alliance for Democracy run to the APC? Why are they hesitating now to stand for restructuring? They can’t talk”, Punch quoted Adebanjo as saying.
The ex-NADECO leader said “all the things I am telling you now – it is not the first time. I said both Jagaban (Tinubu) and Osinbajo should get out of the APC. I said it openly. It is a disgrace and disservice to the Yorubaland. So, what is happening now shows there is nothing to bind them together”, Adebanjo said.
But presidential aide Shehu said the relationship between Buhari and Tinubu “remains as strong as ever and between the two of them, only they know how they manage their enviable relationship.
”Try as hard as they could, the opposition parties have used all their intellectuals and their supporters in the media to break this relationship and have failed and they won’t.
”For President Buhari who has received much of the cynical commentary, Nigerians know him as someone who will not do anything with bad intentions. Neither will he do anything out of partisan motivations or for himself.”
The spokesman added that the whole exercise was meant to ensure massive reform and overhaul of the leadership of the APC.
Shehu quoted Buhari during the meeting as saying that the action of the NEC was ”to save the APC from imminent self-destruction.
”We have to move ahead. We have to take everyone with us and ensure that the party is run in accordance with democratic norms and with consensus. We have to work for the benefit of the country.
”The leaders of the party, who have received two successive massive mandates to govern the country and a majority of the states should be judged by how this exercise turns out in achieving these objectives not cursed at the mere commencement of the process.”
The emergency meeting adopted all the recommendations by Buhari and appointed the Governor of Yobe, Malam Mai Mala Buni, as Caretaker National Chairman, while Sen. Akpan Udo-Edehe was appointed Caretaker National Secretary.
Other members of the committee include the Governors of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola and that of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Bello.