The Nigerian Presidency has said enemies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration are trying to cause a crisis between the President and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, following a comment the President made in an interview on Arise TV on Thursday.
Buhari, while responding to a question on zoning of political positions in the ruling party, had said:
“Nobody is just going to sit in Lagos and tell them what to do. This is what we are arranging.”
Following the comments, there were insinuations that Buhari was referring to Tinubu, but Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, has described the insinuation as a malicious campaign to drive a wedge between the President and Tinubu, insisting that he was not referring to the former Lagos State governor.
In a statement on Thursday night Shehu, said it was a mischievous attempt to drag the President into controversies and urged Nigerians and especially the members of the APC not to fall for the mischief.
“The ruling party, the APC, unlike others before it, is a popular political party owned by its entire membership, hence Mr. President was making the point during the 45-minute interview that neither he nor anyone in the leadership could impose their wishes on the party. This is a basic consensus that binds the entire party leadership,” Shehu said.
Continuing, he added: “The party leaders remain firmly committed to the principles that succession must be through the democratic norms and processes.
“The mention he made of Lagos was not a reference to the respected party leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, as the opposition party’s predatory designs would put it in order to damage the excellent relationship between the two of them.
“The President, the Asiwaju and the rapidly growing members of the party want a dynastic succession of elected leaders.
“The APC should not be distracted from its progress as a democratic party.”