PRESIDENCY DENIES EL-RUFAI’S PUNISHMENT CLAIM

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The senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari did not authorise anybody to punish traitors or disloyal members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a letter dated October 2, 2018 Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, had said that the president directed him to initiate the recall of Senator Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central district, in order to punish his “disloyal” act.

The governor also said that the senator ridiculed the president’s three year tenure and medical trips to London.

However, Shehu said on Sunday, October 7, 2018 that the president did not receive any such letter from el-Rufai.

According to Shehu, it was not in the character of President Buhari to “usurp the role of the party leaders and instruct anyone to punish a party member”. He said that:

“The presidency wishes to distance President Muhammadu Buhari from a letter currently in circulation, which alleges that the President had authorized a Governor or anyone else for that matter to deal with traitors and disloyal members of APC, especially Senator Shehu Sani.

“We wish to confirm that the President is not aware of any such letter, let alone authorising anyone to deal with any party member.

“Given President Buhari’s record, it is inconceivable that he would usurp the role of the party leaders and instruct anyone to punish a party member”.

Reacting to the statement from the presidency, Senator Sani thanked the president for “clearing the air on the calumnious memo”. Writing on his official Twitter handle, he said:

“Thank you President Buhari for clearing the air on the calumnious memo; even though I never believed that the President can ‘Direct’ a Governor to recall a disloyal Senator. Another executive lie busted”.

Meanwhile the national body of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that Senator Sani remains its senatorial candidate in Kaduna central.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, Yekini Nabena, acting national publicity secretary of the APC said Senator Sani was the only senatorial candidate from the zone duly recognised by the national body, maintaining that Governor El-Rufai cannot dictate to the party.

El-Rufai had kicked against the automatic ticket given to the lawmaker, saying Uba Sani, one of his aides, deserves to contest for the ticket of the senatorial district.

The state chapter of the APC later held a primary where Senator Sani was said to have lost to Uba Sani.

Eddie Floyd-Igbo, returning officer of the election held at Murtala Muhammef Square, Kaduna, had declared Uba Sani as the winner with 2,088 votes, while Senator Sani polled only 15 votes.

But Nabena, reiterated that, “as far as Kaduna central zone 2 is concerned, the only candidate is Senator Shehu Sani.

“Yes election took place in that zone because of the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly but for the senatorial position the only candidate is Senator Shehu Sani. The governor cannot dictate to the party”.

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