CITIZENS COMPASS– AHEAD the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the Federal Government says it was not “officially aware” of any entity in the Presidential Villa working against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer, Bola Tinubu.
The federal government disclosed this on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 through its Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed while addressing State House Correspondents after a Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the President at the Aso Rock.
The government said that the President Muhammadu Buhari was neither favouring nor disfavouring any presidential candidate ahead of the February 25 election.
“If there’s anybody who is working against any candidate, we don’t know officially,” the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told Rock Villa, Abuja.
But fielding a question on the issue on Wednesday, Mohammed argued that the Buhari-led government has been fair to all candidates regardless of party affiliations.
He said, “On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that, no matter who, this administration is focused and determined to ensure a free and fair election. And I think this administration, and for that matter now, the most important person in this regard is Mr. President.
“I think he has shown by words and deed that he is committed to a free, fair and credible election. And fair, free and credible elections mean not favouring or disfavouring anybody.
“Everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear, even as recently as Friday, when he was in Daura. He said the same thing. So if there’s anybody who’s working against any candidate, we don’t know officially.”
Earlier, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, alleged that some “elements” in Aso Rock are working against Tinubu’s emergence as President.
Speaking on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he explained that the persons in question were aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the June 2022 APC presidential primary.
He cited the naira redesign policy as one of several schemes targeted at the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, who also made a similar claim a week earlier.
According to El-Rufai, “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.
“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.
“In fact, I discussed with the President and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200b for federal roads and then spend N2 Trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.
“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as President.
“He did this; the Buhari-Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”
Speaking in Ogun State on Wednesday, January 24, 2023, the APC presidential candidate alleged plans to sabotage the coming election.
Tinubu cited the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the lingering fuel crisis and as part of plots to thwart the polls and his expected victory.
The presidential candidate said the petrol scarcity as well as the naira redesign will not affect his chances of securing victory.
Tinubu spoke at the APC presidential rally held at the MKO Abiola stadium, the venue for his campaign in Abeokuta, the Ogun capital.
The APC presidential candidate alleged that saboteurs had plans to disrupt the forthcoming elections.
He said the elections would be a revolution, adding that his administration would put an end to the petrol crisis if he is elected.
However, the Federal Government of Nigeria said it was unaware of the allegations.