President Muhammadu Buhari has denied asking Nasir el-Rufa’i, Governor of Kaduna State, to punish Shehu Sani, Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
In a leaked Memo addressed to the President, which was dated October 2, 2018, el-Rufa’i warned the President that there would be serious consequences if the senator representing Kaduna Central should win a return ticket to the Senate in 2019.
The Governor claimed in the Memo at a point that the President had asked him to “deal” with traitors and disloyal members of All Progressives Congress, APC, especially his political rival, Shehu Sani.
But Garba Shehu said neither did the President received the leaked memo nor did he asked el-Rufa’i to deal with the Senator, adding that the President would never usurp the role of party leaders by directing that a party member should be punished.
The statement read: “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 authorizing 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.
“In the light of above, we would like to appeal to the general public, especially members of the press, to ignore false or unauthorized information intended to attribute to the President any action which is not in line with his character.’’
It would be recalled that el-Rufa’i, who is a key ally of Buhari, had last week visited the Presidential villa twice over political developments in his Kaduna State.
Governor el-Rufa’i, who vehemently opposed the decision of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to clear Senator Shehu Sani as the sole candidate in the race for APC-Kaduna Central, said the fate of the Senator “lies in the hands of the Party delegates in the State.”
But the national body of the APC had on Sunday reiterated that Shehu Sani remained its only senatorial candidate from Kaduna Central.
The acting National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Yekini Nabena, confirmed this in an interview with news men in Abuja.