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Presidency, Buhari in fresh row over Boko Haram mediation

By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — The cold war between the Presidency and the former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, deepened, yesterday, when the Villa took exception to the allegation by the former head of state that the Boko Haram sect was a creation of the PDP-led government and that they should not try to robe him into its problems.

Buhari had addressed the press in Abuja on Wednesday and absolved himself of any link with the sect and also declined an offer from the group to mediate in its reconciliatory talks with the Federal Government.

President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd)

But the claim by the CPC leader infuriated the Presidency, which asked him to explain why the sect chose him and not another former head of state to lead its talks.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said it was amazing that the sect named Buhari as one of its leading mediators with the government.

Okupe also questioned Buhari’s claim that Boko Haram was a PDP creation and that they should find a way to fix their own problem, pointing out that he was economical with the truth.

Okupe said: “What amazes me here is the fact that they mentioned Gen. Buhari  to be one of the mediators. So things are beginning to fall into place.

“And the reaction from the CPC does not help matters at all after all an elder statesman, Dr. Ali Mongunu, was also mentioned and the man has neither rejected nor said anything wrong but the CPC quickly disowned Boko Haram in a very suspicious and questionable manner.

“From my own perspective, it would appear to me that with the statement that is coming from Gen. Buhari that Boko Haram is a creation of PDP and that they should go and fix it, that he is economical with the truth.

“How does that apply to Boko Haram inviting him to mediate in its talks? Is it the government that asked Boko Haram to invite him? And even if it is PDP that created Boko Haram, why should they be asking for Buhari to mediate?”

Attempt to link Buhari with Boko Haram, cheap blackmail—Spokesman

But a spokesman for Buhari, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, described the attempt by the Presidency to link Buhari with Boko Haram as a cheap blackmail that had already failed since Nigerians were aware that the party’s poor leadership created the sect that has killed thousands of persons in the country.

Fashakin said in an interview with Vanguard last night that it was naïve on the part of the PDP and its sponsors to try to robe the former Head of State into the Boko Haram saga just to paint him black and earn some cheap political miles.

“The CPC spokesman said: “Buhari has said something very fundamental that he cannot mediate on behalf of a group he does not know.

“But they are making noise now because the PDP has seen that its evil plot to robe Buhari into Boko Haram saga has failed and they now want to resort to blackmailing him.

“Certainly, PDP is not happy that the CPC quickly decoded all their gimmicks and went ahead to stall them. The truth of the matter is that PDP is too naïve not to accept that its wicked plot to robe Buhari into the Boko Haram saga has already failed woefully. They should know that CPC cannot fall into such a cheap blackmail.”

Vanguard learnt last night that Buhari’s rejection of the ‘offer’ by the sect for him to mediate in its planned reconciliatory talks with the government, was informed by his desire not to allow anything to stall him from wresting power from the PDP come 2015.



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