The presidency has reacted to a report in a national daily saying there exist a crack in the relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State.
The paper citing sources and the long absence of Mr Tinubu spanning over 14 months around the seat of power reported that a cold war is brewing.
The manner with which the Adams Oshiomhole led national leadership of the APC, said to be loyal to the Southwestern politician, was dissolved also became a reference point that all is not well within the duo.
Another point of reference is the recent moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking to reperuse the assets declaration forms of the APC chieftain, a plot reportedly spearheaded by Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) who is also eyeing to succeed Buhari.
The former governor played a vital role in ensuring Mr Buhari, who has sought the top office thrice but failed, succeeded in his fourth attempt in 2015. From the merger of the now ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to the winning of the historic election which then incumbent Goodluck Jonathan sought re-election.
Although he has not officially made known his intention to succeed the president, political analysts citing his body language are of the opinion that he seek to be elected president in the next general election.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, Wednesday evening, the presidency said the former governor, who is currently out of the country, is not a cabinet member of the present administration and this accounts for his perceived absence at the seat of power.
“The Presidency wishes to make it clear that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his strong ally, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Mr Shehu claimed. “The President and the Asiwaju have a very strong commitment to the All Progressives Congress, APC towards bringing CHANGE and this is a commitment they have made to the Nigerian people.
“Recent reports of a rift between the two leaders of our party are false; the handiwork of some media mischief makers.
“It is quite unfortunate that certain sections of the media feed on birthing controversies, providing a nexus for naysayers who work behind the scenes planting such stories, which are absolutely false.
“This administration is aware of pessimists and cynics who willfully spread misinformation to create doubts in the minds of the people about the relationship between its leaders and whether the party will remain intact or not.
“There is no doubt that the President and the party are focused on development, peace and security, restructuring of the economy and war against corruption in the country and will not be diverted to anything else. This desperate attempt to fool the people will not succeed.
“To President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu remains one of the most respected political leaders in the country, who has stuck to his principles in the face of all adversities.
“He was instrumental to the formation, growth and development of the APC into a formidable political party and the political alliance is waxing even stronger.
“If the Asiwaju is not a frequent face in the Aso Rock Villa, it is on account of the fact that he is not a cabinet member of this government. The fact that he is not every day around the Villa does not make him less of a friend to the President and this administration,” he added.