The Presidency on Saturday rubbished insinuations of a crack in the relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, following the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Political opponents and critics were quick to interpret the President’s dissolution of the NWC as part of the strategy to ‘clip the wings’ of the former Lagos State governor.
But the Presidency in a statement last night said such interpretations were misleading.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the narrative projecting a face-off between Buhari and Tinubu were untrue and nothing short of “political vulturism”.
Shehu said contrary to the impression some media analysts had given to the development in the APC, the bond between the two leaders is very much intact.
“They are in touch with one another. Their relationship remains as strong as ever. And between the two of them, only they know how they manage their enviable relationship,” the Presidential spokesman said.
He explained that President Buhari advised the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) to dissolve the NWC and start on a fresh page with a positive intention of saving the party from imminent collapse.
He added: “The very essence of the requests put to the Emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by President Muhammadu 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 further from the truth.
“To set the records straight, in the formation of this great party and given it 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.
“These are the qualities that have made them move past cynical distractions.
“Try as hard as they could, the opposition parties have used all their intellectuals and their supporters in the media to break this relationship but 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.
“This whole exercise that should lead to massive reform and overhaul of the leadership of the party, as he said in that brilliant speech, 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 statement came moments after Tinubu himself spoke on the APC issue and said he was fully in support of the President’s move which, according to him, was inevitable to save the party.