Northern socio-cultural and political groups have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid unnecessary feud with a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, which they described as capable of destroying the ruling party.
This, they said, had become imperative because of the insinuation that Buhari and Tinubu are not in very good terms even though none of them has publicly admitted it.
Political analysts have also linked the recent disagreement between Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to the purported crisis between the former Governor of Lagos State and the President.
Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, the groups noted that the speculated crisis between the two titans of the ruling party should be resolved.
The Chairman, Coalition of Political Parties in Kaduna State, Muhammadu Sani-Ahmed, blamed those he described as the “kitchen cabinet” of the President for the seeming feud between Buhari and Tinubu.
He said there was no hiding the fact that there is no love lost between the two leaders.
“On the pages of newspapers, the two leaders have consistently denied any feud; but somebody close to them has told me there is a crisis between them,” he said.
Sani-Ahmed noted that with the pivotal role played by Tinubu during the 2015 presidential election, there was a need for the two leaders to come together and settle their differences.
He said, “Nigerians are not stupid. Even the blind knows that the relationship between the President and the National Leader of APC is not cordial.
“This feud is being fuelled by those close to the President. They are telling the President the wrong things. The President and Tinubu must come together regardless of their differences to settle their rift before the 2019 elections because if it continues like this till that time, it will certainly affect the chances of the APC.”
Second Republic Member of the House of Representatives and also the Convener, Coalition of Northern Intellectuals, Politicians and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, called on Buhari to apply caution in his handling of the alleged feud with Tinubu and the internal crisis in the APC.
He said, “Given the tenuous nature of this administration, the party (APC) and of course, the powerful enemies undoubtedly which Tinubu has, he (Buhari) should do well to please take it easy. Some of us believe that he (Tinubu) certainly has done some good for the party, (Muhammadu) Buhari as a person, and for the country; we would not want him to fall by the wayside as a result of lack of tact.
“I also believe that he (Tinubu), Buhari and leading members of the party must all rush back to the drawing board because rightly or wrongly, their making Buhari as the presidential candidate and his arrogance and megalomania may in fact, sooner than later, destroy the party.
“And to make matters worse, Buhari does not have a clue about forming a party or running one. If care is not taken, he will throw the party into complete disarray and by the time most of them in the party realise it, it would have been too late.
Also, an elder statesman and National Chairman, Northern Elders Council, Tanko Yakasai, who spoke in his personal capacity, noted that Buhari would not have won the last presidential election without Tinubu’s support.
Yakasai said Buhari was elected by a two and half million majority, which he described as the “lowest majority in Nigeria’s presidential elections.”
“A large chunk of these votes came from the South-West and Tinubu was instrumental to this, but right now, he can’t claim to be in the picture of what is happening in government,” he added.
“Yes, the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) came from his (Tinubu’s) camp but Buhari’s biographer gave a different picture of how Osinbajo came about to be the VP. If you remember quite recently, it took Tunji Bello to correct the impression created by the President’s biographer. It was he who revealed that he was there when the decision was taken.
“I think they (Buhari and Tinubu) should ensure peace for the good of the party and the country.
Chairman, Adamawa United Forum, the umbrella body for all the ethnic minorities in the state, Musa Jekeko, said Buhari could not afford to treat Tinubu with disdain as it would amount to biting the fingers that fed him.
According to him, Buhari should not allow his relationship with Tinubu to degenerate because the latter remains a “vital” asset to the APC because of his political influence and financial clout.
“By virtue of the President’s position as leader of the party, there should be no dissenting voice, and if there’s any, Buhari should be held responsible because as the leader of the party, he should be able to bring everyone together,” he said.
Chairman, Adamawa Awareness Foundation, Abdulrazak Buba, described the crisis In the APC as political.
“This is just politics; we want to call on everyone within the APC, including Tinubu to rally round the President so that we can get out of this current economic hardship, which is the major concern of Nigerians who voted for the APC,” he said.