• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Obidients cannot distract Tinubu from governance – Presidency says

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The presidency has dismissed concerns over potential distractions from supporters of Labour Party’s (LP) candidate in the last presidential election, Peter Obi, asserting that such activities will not sway President Bola Tinubu’s administration from its course.

Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the president on information and strategy, made the remarks during an episode of the Mic On Podcast, where he refuted the notion of the administration being swayed by the politics of Obi and his supporters, also known as the Obidients.

Responding to inquiries about whether Obi’s politics and his supporters could pose a threat to President Tinubu’s potential candidacy in 2027, Onanuga emphasised that the administration is presently focused on governance and is not preoccupied with future political scenarios.

He said: “As of now, we are busy with governance and we don’t want our attention diverted from the focus of what the government is trying to do. We are very busy, we’re not even looking at them now.

“How could somebody who came third how could he have won that election? You can even see when they were talking about the naira, some people were just happy that the Naira was going downhill. You can trace them. People who are saying so are members of the Obidient movement.”

Regarding Obi’s campaign tactics during the last election, Onanuga criticised what he perceived as the exploitation of ethnic and religious sentiments, describing such actions as detrimental to the nation’s political landscape.

When questioned about potential sabotage against the Tinubu administration, Onanuga pointed out persistent allegations of electoral theft and deliberate undermining efforts, particularly by some members of the Obidient movement.

Dismissing assertions that Tinubu’s choice of Vice President Shettima was influenced by religious considerations, Onanuga emphasised that Shettima’s selection was based on merit and loyalty to the campaign, rather than religious affiliations.

He said, “When President Tinubu was picking Shettima as his vice, he was picking Shettima and not looking at him as a Muslim. He was looking at Shettima, from the Northeast part of the country, who can add values to his campaign, to his winning the Presidency.

“Shettima earned the vice presidency because of his contributions to that campaign; he was with him all the way, even before the primary. When you want to appoint someone to work with you, you have to count loyalty, it’s very vital. Even the quality of the person is also very important and you can see what Shettima has been doing; he’s loyal to the President and he has shown a lot of qualities as Vice President.”

On the comparison between Tinubu and his predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari, Onanuga stressed the need for patience in assessing Tinubu’s performance, noting that Buhari’s tenure faced unfair criticism despite notable achievements in infrastructure development and legal reforms.

In conclusion, Onanuga reiterated the administration’s commitment to governance and dismissed concerns of distraction from political opponents, affirming Tinubu’s dedication to steering the nation forward.