Babafemi Ojudu, has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by those in the opposition to cause a division between Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. According to him, these individuals are mostly operating on Social media.
Ojudu, who spoke with State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday, said all the successes recorded by Osinbajo while acting as president were programmes already initiated by Buhari before he left for the United Kingdom on vacation.
He also dismissed as baseless the claim by some clerics in Katsina that Buhari was poisoned and cautioned journalists to be careful of what they pick from the social media.
He said: “The way I will react to that is that those of you in the media should be careful what you pick from the social media now, it is becoming a factory for fake news in the Nigeria.
“A lot of things you see on the social media can never be true. I saw that, I read it and I assessed it using the prism of these factors – those indices we use to analyse stories in the media and found out that it cannot be true.
“For example, they said someone stashed N77 trillion somewhere, imagine that. What is the total value of Nigeria’s economy that they decided to use the N77 trillion as the reason for some people to poison him (Buhari), so that they can inherit the money?
“I mean we have a president that nobody in this country can question his integrity. As a young officer, a middle officer, a senior officer and as a head of state, till now, nobody has been able to tarnish his image or come up with anything.
“For me, this is not even worth responding to. As soon as I read it, I dismissed it because it is so ridiculous.
“Again it is the handiwork of our enemies, the problem is that fake news has almost become global and universal, and other countries are experiencing it.
“Those who want to destabilize the country, they come up with all kinds of stupid stories, some kind of unimaginable stories so we should just discountenance those things.”
While warning mischief makers not on causing divisions within the presidency, he insisted that most of the achievements attributed to Osinbajo were programmes already initiated by Buhari.
He cited the acting president’s visits to the oil producing states to consult with stakeholders, saying that the idea was Buhari’s.
He described those making the comparison between the president and his deputy as mischief makers.
He said: “Those people do not wish this country well. They are always promoting a crisis. Persons who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy are the ones promoting these kinds of divisive tendencies.”
When asked to elaborate on the comparison of the performance of Osinbajo with that of Buhari, which has the social media agog, he said: “I think it is thoughtless. I also see it as a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary division.
“It is joint ticket, the president and the vice-president were elected based on the manifesto of the party and since they were sworn in, they have been committed to implementing that manifesto.
“The same people who said we never had an economic team, no policy, nothing, are the ones saying this. It is now the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result? So it is not a question of one person being better than the other person.”
According to him, there was nothing that has been done since the vice-president started acting that was not already in the works before Buhari’s vacation in London.
“A good example is the Niger Delta initiative: the president called the vice-president and said I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefit of Nigerians.
“And the president had said unless and until we resolve this problem, we would not get out of the recession. So the VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta. In effect, it is the initiative of Mr. President not that of the vice-president,” he added.
Ojudu also revealed that Osinbajo consults with Buhari almost everyday, especially when major decisions are to be taken, adding that Buhari remains the president.
He said: “He (Buhari) is in charge but, like I said earlier on, this is a joint ticket and the president of Nigeria remains the president of Nigeria. He (Osinbajo) is acting because it is one and the same.
“Buhari is more experienced, he has been in the game longer than the vice-president and if there are major issues that he needs to take a decision on, he could call on him and say sir, ‘what do you think about this we are about to take decision on it, do you have an opinion’. So that does not mean he (Osinbajo) is not in charge.”
Ojudu restated that he had seen some publications aimed at causing divisions within the presidency.
“Some people who have been condemning everybody in the past, I see them on Twitter and on Facebook and generally on social media. Some people are trying to promote divisions and we are not going to allow that.
“This president and vice-president work together and in tandem and I know they both have confidence in this nation,” he added.