The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari is fully in support of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Mr Mohammed stated this while speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the 22nd edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).
He said his statement on the issue on Wednesday was misinterpreted.
While responding to the comments made by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, that some elements at the presidential villa are working against the victory of APC at the poll, the minister said the president was not favouring any of the presidential candidates, rather, he is committed to a free and fair election.
His comments further fuelled the speculation of cracks within the ranks of the ruling party.
Clarifying his statement, Mr Mohammed said “it is preposterous to even suggest that Mr President, who is the leader of our party, is equivocating on his support for our presidential candidate.”
He stated that “Yesterday, while reacting to a question at the post-Federal Executive Council (FEC) briefing at the State House, I said, inter alia, that Mr President is committed to free, fair and credible elections.
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“This comment has been misinterpreted in some circles, especially with regard to Mr President’s support for the presidential candidate of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“I want to say, unequivocally, that Mr President is in total support of our party’s flag bearer, and that is attested to by his continuing campaign with the candidate across the country.”
He added that “I hope this clears any ambiguity that may have arisen from my statement yesterday.”
Division in APC
The recent fuel scarcity and redesigning of the currency are two issues causing a major crisis within the ruling party.
During a campaign rally in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Mr Tinubu raised alarm on the redesigning of naira and hoarding of petroleum products, noting that those actions were targeted at him.
Many interpreted the outburst as a sign of disagreement between Messrs Tinubu and Buhari, particularly in the face of the perceived lukewarm attitude of the latter to the campaign of the former.
Mr El-Rufai’s interview may have further strengthened the speculations that there is division in the ruling party.
In the build up to the APC presidential primary election last year, there were allegations that the president and some of his aides were not in support of Mr Tinubu’s ambition.
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