The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is not controlled by the so-called “cabal” or backroom boys.
It also dispelled claims that the President does not take decisions alone on national issues or carries them out without the backup of the cabal.
Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday titled “President’s Laudatory Role in the APC Primary.”
Shehu stated that the President played a key role in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential primary, stating that the Nigerian leader gave the party leadership free hand to conduct a credible election.
He said President refused to be an elected autocrat and ensured that the APC primary was a transparent, free and fair process that would bring back people’s faith in democracy by taking good governance up to the grassroots level.
The statement read: “The media are being inundated with made up stories– speculating about the role of the President in the flagbearer contest: whether he had a favoured candidate, and whether manoeuvres were made to install them; whether the chosen flagbearer was the President’s choice, or another. And on and on.
“Speculation is easy. But facts are simple. The President always said he had a favoured candidate. He said that candidate was whoever was chosen by the APC in a democratic primary to lead the party at the election.
“Those still assailing the APC and the President expounding conspiracy theories and making all manner of speculations about who did what or did not need to understand the important point about the country’s leader: President Buhari takes his own decisions and carries them out without the backup of a so-called “cabal” or back room boys. The strong leader myth in Nigeria has lasted far too long.
“People make assumptions that if you are a leader, you dominate everything, and even determine electoral outcomes.
“Luckily for Nigeria, President Buhari does not suffer from such constraints. He refuses to act as the elected autocrat.”
Shehu stated that the APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has the unwavering support of President Buhari head of the 2023 general elections.
The Presidential spokesman also mocked opposition parties who were expecting division and disagreements at the just-concluded APC Presidential primary election.
He said: “The flagbearer has been chosen. He has the President’s unwavering support. The journey to victory continues.
“When it is election season we all expect speculation to reach fever-pitch. The press pores over every word spoken, scours every photo taken, and reports every indication suggested, seeking signs of who is supporting who like private investigators – or fiction writers.
“There’s no greater intrigue for this kind of speculation-journalism than a party flagbearer primary. But it only comes around once every four years – or every eight following President Buhari’s second term. Therefore, the media must make the most of it.
“So, what a disappointment the All Progressives Congress (APC) party flagbearer primary must have been for those who assembled to witness a catastrophe? No intrigue, no division, no disagreement, no defeated candidates rejecting the result, no splits, no third-party runs.
“Only determination to rally around the chosen flagbearer to deliver victory and an APC third term in February 2023.
“The opposition reaction to this successful nomination convention has come by way of a counter-offensive so that we do not go on the offensive. In some instances, there is clear evidence of a conspiracy to destabilize the governing party and defame the President.”