The Presidency on Wednesday slammed an elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, for expressing doubts about President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the February 25 election.
Yakasai, who featured in a programme on Control TV on Monday in Kano, questioned the president’s commitment to Tinubu’s candidature.
He claimed that the former Lagos State governor’s personality does not excite President Buhari.
“What I realise is that I’m not sure if Buhari is happy with the candidature of Tinubu. That is the issue. He is in APC because he is the president elected on the platform of the party. But is he committed to Tinubu’s presidency? I have my doubt.
“I don’t know but I have not seen the commitment from him to supporting the candidature of Tinubu in APC. I’m not sure if it’s APC or not but definitely, the personality of Tinubu doesn’t make him happy from my assessment of the situation,” the elder statesman pointed out during the interview.
However, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, who reacted to the Yakassai’s remarks in a statement in Abuja, said the Arewa Consultative Forum chieftain’s position was at variance with the president’s recent appearances in APC’s campaign rallies.
He insisted that Buhari was in total support of the APC presidential candidate.
The statement read: “Alhaji Tanko Yakasai is unknown to the All Progressives Congress. Everyone is entitled to their view, but what we do know is that his insight in a recent interview does not come from within the party or the President’s team.
“His support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is welcome although it is difficult to see what value it will add.
“He is right to highlight his experience as a senior citizen, a leader in government, and his ability to reach out across divides are strong foundation for the highest office.
“But Yakasai’s questioning of the loyalty of President Muhammadu Buhari stands in sharp contrast to the actions of the President. Only on Monday, he was out at a rally in Bauchi supporting the flag bearer of the party.
“Presidential duties permitting, he is scheduled to make further appearances at campaign events in the coming weeks.
“His support for the party’s candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is unquestioned.
“Perhaps, times are hard and the old man needs a bit of help.
“If this wasn’t on TV, Yakasai’s unwise comment on the issue would have been dismissed as a misquotation. But he was live on TV.
“On this one against President Buhari, no one should take him seriously.”
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