The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governors have dismissed recent allegations of a cold war within the Presidency as mere rumour and another scheme of opposition mischief makers. There have been media reports and allegations in the political space of a festering sour relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the last few days, indicating that handlers of the president had demanded the resignation of the vice president.
However, during separate media engagements in Abuja on Thursday, the Progressive Governors’ Forum and the national secretariat of the ruling APC dismissed the insinuation, stating that more recent events had proven such as invalid claims.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Steering Committee on Media and Communication, Lagos Governor, who is also the chairman of the committee, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the alleged face-off in the Presidency was just ‘gossip’. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, explained that the Buhari/Osinbajo administration has carried on with its normal duties in the last few days, despite the alleged bad-blood.
There is no crack. It is in the realm of gossips. By the time they said that, the Vice President went to Zimbabwe to represent this country. It was the prerogative of the president but he nominated him.
Like I said earlier, it is in the realm of gossips because only on Wednesday, the Vice President presided over the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) meeting which is the highest decision making body in the country. So, we don’t listen to rumors. We deal with facts and the fact is that they are working together. So, it is all rumor and don’t take it that serious,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ruling APC during a media conference at its national secretariat in Abuja, squarely placed the blame for the spread of what it described as “fallacy” on the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), noting that the ruling party would not abandon its serious national assignments to pay attention to what is not important. According to the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu: “We have important issues of governance than to continue to respond to fallacies. How do you determine a crack?
“The vice president had been sent out to represent the President at an international event, after PDP saw a crack; the Vice President presided over the FEC meeting just on Wednesday. Is that part of the PDP’s crack? Let us stop this joke. We know we have challenges in this country, let us face these challenges,” he said.
Addressing other issues, Issa-Onilu also accused the PDP of being responsible for some other recent activities, which had been attributed to leaders of the APC, one of which he said was erection of campaign billboards and printing of campaign posters, purportedly in preparation for the 2023 elections.
According to him, the APC is currently preoccupied with solving the myriad of challenges facing the country as well as working to fulfill her campaign promises to Nigerians, adding that the party does not have any room for election thoughts at the moment, but that those who want to distract the party from its task of providing leadership will use anything to do so.
“As a party, we want to state clearly that having won elections convincingly and having been given the mandate to run government for the next four years, our major and only focus now is governance.
“We are not engaging in any other activity a out 2023 elections and wherever you see such (posters) you can be sure it is from mischief makers and of course we know it is part of the strategy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to continue to take actions to cause distractions for the governing party from focusing on anything that is important to the people of Nigeria which is to deal with the challenges that we are all faced with; the challenges of governance, security, economy and corruption as well as other associated issues. That is what we are focused on.
So, as a party, we understand that the social contract we have signed with the people of Nigeria with the renewal of our mandate. Whatever poster you might have seen about any of our leaders anywhere in this country is irrelevant to us, we do not have a hand in it and it is not from those leaders. It is strictly part of the strategy of a party that is supposed to provide alternative to our governance model and since they do not have such, the only thing they can do is to continue to throw spanners into the works,” he said.