*Tinubu a priceless political asset to APC – President
*Says rumours of divisions, scheming within party counterproductive to APC unity, cohesion
President Muhammadu Buhari has described as untrue reports that he and leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are at loggerhead with a national leader of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He dismissed such reports as rumours and unfounded.
The President, who spoke through a statement on Monday night by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, described the rumours as mischievous.
Shehu said President Buhari “regards Tinubu as a priceless political asset to the party whose immeasurable contributions to the development and progress of the ruling party are known to all.”
According to him, the President is proud of the Jagaba (Tinubu) as well as “his pivotal role in the party and the movement.”
The presidential spokesman said the Buhari was highly embarrassed by such suggestions and that Buhari was in regular contact with Tinubu before, during and after the Ondo gubernatorial election.
He quoted President Buhari as commending Tinubu’s spirit of comradeship in promptly congratulating Rotimi Akeredolu who was elected governor.
He said any suggestions that President Buhari and the party machinery were working to destroy Tinubu had no foundation in truth or any credibility,
He stated that President Buhari was impressed by Tinubu’s assurance not to work against the party in Ondo and he (Tinubu) honoured his words.
Shehu asked the rumour mongers to stop spreading the seeds of discord and animosity between Buhari and Tinubu or the party.
He also quoted Buhari as noting that “at a time his administration is preoccupied with governance issues, rumours of divisions and alleged scheming within the party are counterproductive to internal unity and cohesion in APC.”
The presidential aide said Buhari appealed to APC members and supporters to ignore rumours that could harm the unity of the party.
Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in an after-event statement on Ondo State governorship election that was generally believed that he and his loyalists including South West APC governors boycotted, had on Monday reportedly called for true and reconciliation among aggrieved members.
His loyalists had reportedly schemed for candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Olusola Oke, at the Ondo election, in a way that APC members loyal to the Change Regime believed was an attempt to show that President Muhammadu Buhari was no longer popular among Nigerian populace. They however believed that with Ondo State election personally led and campaigned for by Buhari himself while the said acrimony was undergoing, it meant that the popularity of the Daura-born President remained intact.
But President Buhari, following the Tinubu’s statement which sensed an existence of acrimony, dismissed that there was any odd amidst and warned that such rumours of divisions and alleged scheming within the party at a time that his administration and the APC were preoccupied with issues of governance were counterproductive to internal unity and cohesion of the party.