The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Friday said reports of an altercation between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, were inaccurate.
Shehu said, contrary to conclusions by journalists, it was impossible for the conversation between the officials to have been heard by any journalist, as the distance between the State House correspondents and the two government officials as they addressed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made their conversation completely inaudible to the journalists.
“People can debate and argue over issues, but to suggest that there was a feud, a fight or a clash was to take matters beyond what they were,” he said.
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Shehu also dismissed reports that Kyari and Oyo-Ita were summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari over the reported altercation.
“Top government officials of that calibre see the President on a regular basis. To suggest that they were summoned to see him as a result of a so-called feud is just a fabrication, a conclusion that is below the level of responsible journalism that we expect from our State House correspondents,” the media aide said.
The reported drama had played out at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday before the start of the FEC meeting.
What appeared to be heated argument ensued between the two government officials and was believed to be based on Oyo-Ita’s leaked memo to Kyari on the controversial reinstatement and eventual posting of the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Commission, Abdulrasheed Maina.
The drama played out in the presence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun; service chiefs and ministers.
Saraki, Dogara, Oyegun and the service chiefs had been in attendance to witness the inauguration of the new
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, as well as the inauguration of the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance emblem.
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