The Minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed Wednesday dismissed remarks by Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna state some people in Aso Rock Villa are working against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu ahead of the February 25, 2023 elections.
The minister said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
He said the federal government is not aware of anyone within the presidential villa that is working against any candidate in the next month’s presidential elections.
He said the federal government has been fair to all candidates regardless of party affiliation and that President Muhammadu Buhari has consistently demonstrated that he is for free, fair and credible elections.
“On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is focused, determine to ensure free and fair elections. But I think with this administration the most important person is Mr. President and I think he has shown by words and by deed that he is dedicated to free, fair and credible elections.
“And fair, free, credible elections actually mean not backing anybody. And everywhere he goes he makes that very clear even as recently as Friday when he was in Daura, he said the same thing. If there’s anybody working against a candidate we don’t know officially,” he said.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had blamed unnamed persons in the Presidential Villa for being responsible for the currency redesign and persistent fuel scarcity to frustrate the APC presidential candidate.
The governor, who was a guest on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said Wednesday that the currency redesign and persistent fuel scarcity were not good at as this material time.
“The policy of currency redesign is the idea of a few people in the Presidential Villa. APC never promised Naira redesign. This is not the right time to embark on such an exercise because most of the areas in Nigeria have no banking facilities.
“I must say that the naira redesign and fuel scarcity is the handiwork of 5th Columnists because they want to bring the country down, otherwise why must redesigning naira be the priority of the federal government at this time,” he said.
The governor also alleged that most of the people in the Presidential Villa are not APC members hence some of the policies they are churning out from time to time are those that will hurt the party.
Asked why he was not using his close relationship with the President to make suggestions on how to solve some national issues, the governor said he cannot remember when he has made suggestions that were accepted.
“I stopped going to Presidential Villa a long time ago. What is the use when every suggestion you bring will not be accepted.
”I rather stayed back solving the problems of my state (Kaduna) which I believe will be more important to me and my people. I don’t go to the Presidential Villa anymore,” he said.