The Presidency has criticised a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, for allegedly questioning President Muhammadu Buhari’s loyalties.
This comes amid the ongoing electioneering for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, of which Yakasai is an avid supporter.
“Alhaji Tanko Yakasai is unknown to the All Progressives Congress, APC,” the President’s Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.”
Shehu described the support of the northern elder for Tinubu as welcome, “although it is difficult to see what value it will add.”
The presidential aide said Yakasai is right to highlight his experience as a senior citizen, a leader in government and ability to reach out across divides are strong foundations for the highest office.
“But Yakasai’s questioning of the loyalties of President Muhammadu Buhari stands in sharp contrast to the actions of the President.”
See the full statement below:
ON ALHAJI TANKO YAKASAI’S QUESTIONING OF THE PRESIDENT’S SUPPORT OF APC AT THE FORTHCOMING ELECTION.
“Alhaji Tanko Yakasai is unknown to the All Progressives Congress, APC. 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 ability to reach out across divides are strong foundations for the highest office.
“But Yakasai’s questioning of the loyalties 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.
“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.
“Perhaps times are hard and the old man needs a bit of help.”
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday said there was a plan to sabotage the coming election.
Tinubu cited the lingering fuel crisis and naira redesign by the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of the plot to scuttle the poll and his expected victory.
The APC standard bearer spoke during the APC presidential campaign held at the MKO Abiola stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
However, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and oil marketers faulted the ex-Lagos state governor’s allegations.
The PDP argued that Tinubu was simply exposing the failures of the APC regime, insisting that his defeat in the election was imminent.
Speaking in Yoruba, the former Lagos State governor stated, “They don’t want this election to hold. They want to scuttle it. Will you allow them?”
He, however, encouraged Nigerians to defy the fuel scarcity to exercise their franchise, stating that the poll would be a superior revolution.
“They have started coming up with the issue of ‘no fuel’. Don’t worry, if there is no fuel, we will trek to cast the vote.
“If you like, increase the price of fuel, hide the fuel or change the ink on the naira notes, we will win the election. We will use our PVCs (permanent voter cards) to take over the government from them; if they like, let them say there is no fuel, we will trek there (polling booths).
“They are full of mischief, they want to create a fuel crisis, they have started creating a fuel crisis, but, forget about it, put your mind at rest, I’m assuring you. I, Asiwaju will end fuel scarcity.
“Let the price of fuel continue to increase, they are the ones that know where they are hoarding it. They are hoarding naira notes, they are hoarding fuel, we will vote and we will win.
“If you like, change the ink in the naira note, we will win the election, the opposition will be defeated.”
Addressing youths who thronged the rally, a former Lagos State governor promised that his administration would end the issue of strikes in the university system if elected into office in February.
He also promised student loans, pledging to ensure no student spends an extra year on any course.