Presidency on Wednesday lambasted Kano-based elder statesman and human rights activist, Tanko Yakasai, for “questioning the loyalty” of the President Muhammadu Buhari on his support for the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The Presidency said Yakasai’s recent comments about Buhari not throwing his weight behind Tinubu conflicted with the President’s recent appearances in party campaign rallies.
It therefore said the President’s support for the APC flagbearear remained unquestioned.
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘On Alhaji Tanko Yakasai’s questioning of the President’s support of APC at the forthcoming election.’
The elder statesmen, in a recent interview, expressed doubt over Buhari’s support for the presidential candidate of the APC.
Yakasai said, “What I realise is that I’m not sure if Buhari is happy with the candidature of Tinubu. That is the issue.
“He is the APC because he is the President elected on the platform of the APC but is he committed to Tinubu’s presidency? I have my doubt.”
Asked which candidate Buhari is supporting, Yakassai said, “I don’t know but I have not seen the commitment from him supporting the candidature of Tinubu in the 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 Presidency, however, disagreed with Yakasai.
Shehu said in the statement, “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 ability to reach out across divides are strong foundations 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.”
Presidency urged Nigerians to disregard Yakassai’s comments, saying, “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.”