Abba Kyari Not Manipulating Buhari, Subverting Osinbajo – Presidency

The Presidency has dismissed reports suggesting that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is being undermined and President Muhammadu Buhari is being subjected to undue influence and manipulation by a “so-called Aso Rock cabal” since the president’s return.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in the light of stories making the rounds that that Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, was subverting Osinbajo.

“It is absolutely nonsensical and absurd to write that in one week of the President’s return, the Vice President has been sidelined,” said Mallam Shehu in refutation of a report titled “Aso Villa Cabal Stages A Comeback, Sidelines Osinbajo”.

The Presidential aide said, “Quite to the contrary, the Vice President remains the confidante and the closest adviser to the President.

“He has attended all the President’s engagements all through the week with the exception of two: one, the VP was away to Taraba State and two, the Juma’at Muslim prayer because he is a Christian.

“It is difficult to understand what anyone wants to achieve peddling such falsehood that the President, himself a former military general and Head of State and Commander-In-Chief is subject to undue influence and manipulation. It is both ridiculous and inconceivable,” he said.

Shehu said while President Buhari was away on medical vacation in London, Kyari harmonised the Presidency behind Osinbajo “because he knew that his boss, President Buhari expected nothing less.

“As Acting President, Vice President Osinbajo enjoyed the support of the Villa Staff and the entire cabinet. Otherwise he would not have succeeded and earn the praises of the President.

“These are just a few among the false and illogical accusations making the COS larger than life, with the aim of pulling him down. No Chief of Staff including this one can create hurdles for a president and survive the next day. The roles and duties don’t warrant the kind of falsehood being spread.

He continued: “The attacks on Malam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, COS have been leveled with such imperiousness that they must no longer be laughed off as crazy.

“The COS is like the headman of all the President’s political appointees. He has direct responsibility for multiple levels of staff working for the President. Part of his role includes liaising with ministries and parastatals, so that he can have a full awareness of the issues being discussed whenever these groups meet with the President. It goes without saying that anybody who occupies such office has impeccable credentials of total loyalty to the President.

“Clearly, some consider this oversight role as a usurping of the President’s powers, and it is their misunderstanding of the situation that some media organisations have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

“Under this administration, as the ones before it, the office of the Chief of Staff is a branch of the President’s office. There are no power centers here. The only power center is that of the President who is sensitive to grassroots level administration which the Chief of Staff must ensure.”

Shehu assumed that “the problem Malam Abba Kyari has with most people is that he, like the President he serves, will not throw money at people in order to please them,” adding that Kyari had refused to keep cash imprest and had turned down a monthly grant of N200 million “customarily given to the office. This is money freely spent because they were not required to account for what they did with it.”

Mallam Shehu further implored journalists with questions regarding the Presidential Villa administration not to hesitate to approach him, Femi Adesina or Laolu Akande.

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