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Buhari Presidency denies division in President's administration

The presidency has dismissed rumours of division between the President and Vice President.

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President Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo play

President Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

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The presidency has dismissed reports of division in President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, calling stories of a cabal in Aso Rock a recycled hate campaign.

After months of being reportedly undermined by President Buhari's staff while he was away in London for 103 days, there have been recent reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been sidelined since the president's return.

According to the president's Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, those reports are falsehoods that are being circulated to cause unnecessary tension for his administration.

In a press release signed by Shehu, he said, "To begin with, it is absolutely nonsensical and absurd to write that in one week of the President's return, the Vice President has been sidelined. Quite on the contrary, the Vice President remains the confidante and the closest adviser to the President.

"He has attended all the President's  engagements all through the week with the exception of two: one, the VP was away to Taraba state and two, the Juma'at Muslim prayer because he is a Christian.

"It is difficult to understand what anyone wants to achieve peddling such falsehood that the President, himself a former military general and Head of State and Commander-in-Chief is subject to undue influence and manipulation. It is both ridiculous and inconceivable.

"As someone who works very closely with President Buhari, I can testify to how my years of experience as a newspaper editor are often put to the test by the sheer thoroughness with which the President edits every single document brought to his desk.  Every memo, statement, speech, is subject to his intense scrutiny, right down to the placement of commas and full stops. 

"Therefore, alleging that President Buhari signs memos brought to him by government officials or a so-called cabal without reading them, immediately casts doubts on the credibility of the ubiquitous unnamed sources that the reporters of these articles quote.

"But, of course, the President cannot do everything.  He cannot micromanage every task. That is why he needs close officials, whom he trusts, who will be willing to offend others in the process of ensuring his own safety and wellbeing, and the advancement of his vision for Nigeria."

ALSO READ: President Buhari back in Nigeria but leadership doubts linger

Shehu also defended President Buhari's Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, amid reports that he has an undue influence over the president's executive decisions.

He said, "The attacks on Malam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, COS have been leveled with such imperiousness that they must no longer be laughed off as crazy.

"The COS is like the headman of all the President's political appointees. He has direct responsibility for multiple levels of staff working for the President.

"Part of his role includes liaising with ministries and parastatals, so that he can have a full awareness of the issues being discussed whenever these groups meet with the President.

"It goes without saying that anybody who occupies such office has impeccable credentials of total loyalty to the President. Clearly, some consider this oversight role as a usurping of the President's powers, and it is their misunderstanding of the situation that some media organisations have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

"Under this administration, as the ones before it, the office of the Chief of Staff is a branch of the President's office. There are no power centers here.

"The only power center is that of the President who is sensitive to grassroots level administration which the Chief of Staff must ensure.

"For Abba kyari, there is no life after work. He is available to the President 24/7."

Shehu warned that frivolous stories published by the media will only serve to distract the president's focus from his well-intentioned goal of making the country a great place for Nigerians.

He begged for the support of the media for the president's administration, asking for restraint in publishing baseless allegations.

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