Buhari vs Tinubu: Presidency Speaks On Lagos Reference

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The Presidency has denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari was referring to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he referenced Lagos State while speaking on the future of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

During an interview with Arise TV, Buhari had said nobody has the power to decide for the party on zoning.

He said: “The hope of this administration is to see APC last beyond it. Therefore, we should allow the party to decide. You cannot sit there in Lagos, for instance, and decide on the fate of APC on zoning. The restructuring of the party has begun from the bottom to the top with the membership card registration. Every member of the party must be involved.

“We will soon conduct our convention. No single member of the party will be allowed to go against the wish of the party. We should allow the party to decide.”

Many on social media had seen that as a veil reference to Bola Tinubu whose supporters are calling on the ruling party to zone the 2023 presidency to the South.

But clarifying the comment in a statement on Thursday night, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garaba Shehu, said: “The Presidency wishes to distance President Buhari from a malicious campaign aiming to drive a wedge between him and a staunch ally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“This is nothing short of a mischievous attempt to drag the President into controversies. Our citizens and especially the members of the APC should not fall for this.

“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-minutes interview that neither he nor anyone in the leadership could impose their wishes on the party.

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“This is a basic consensus that binds the entire party leadership. 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.”


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