Specifically, there was a report that accused the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari of allegedly being the leader of a cabal that undermines the office of the Vice President.
It was also alleged that since President Buhari came back from medical vacation in London that took about 104 days, the Vice President had been pushed aside by the alleged cabals who were said to be calling the shots.
But in a statement made available journalists in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu described the allegations as false. According to Garba Shehu, the report is only aimed at generating hatred and disgust against some of the President’s aides.
Shehu maintained that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been a worthy confidant of President Buhari and had participated nearly in all the functions since the President assumed duty after his vacation. In his words:
“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 to 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.
“As Acting President, Vice President Osinbajo enjoyed the support of the Villa Staff and the entire cabinet. Otherwise, he would not have succeeded and earned the praises of the President.
“These are just a few among the false and illogical accusations making the CoS larger than life, with the aim of pulling him down. No Chief of Staff including this one can create hurdles for a president and survive the next day. The roles and duties don’t warrant the kind of falsehood being spread.
“Publishing poorly-researched allegations and trying to pass them off as investigative journalism or as news may lead to more newspaper sales or to more clicks on a website; but they will also, in the long run, slow down the growth and development of our country, which right now requires the absolute focus of President Buhari and his carefully-selected team to build the Nigeria of our dreams.
“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 well being, and the advancement of his vision for Nigeria.”
Shehu urged Journalists with questions to ask concerning the President and the Villa administration to always contact the Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, SSA to the President (Office of the Vice-President) Laolu Akande or himself.
“Where we don’t have your answers, we are ready to obtain as much as we can, the correct responses to your enquiry,” he said.