el-Rufai under probe over memo to Buhari

We will respond next week —APC •We won’t react —Presidency

The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is probing a damning memo addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari  by the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.

In the memo, dated 22 September, 2016, which was however published on Friday by some national dailies, the Kaduna State governor  raised the alarm that the country was drifting under the leadership of President Buhari.

It was gathered that following the reports published on Friday, the party has commenced a discreet inquiry into the memo, how it got to the media and the motives for its release six months after it was submitted to the president.

Relevant government agencies are also looking into the issues surrounding the leaking of the memo to the press, it was further learnt.

However, both the party and the government were not ready to officially respond to the issues on Friday.

Speaking with Saturday Tribune on phone,  APC spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said the APC leadership was studying the memo and would give an appropriate response next week.

He said: “I am still trying to read it. It is about 30 pages. So, we don’t have a position on it yet.

“We are still studying it; after studying it, we will possibly have a position to release to the media by next week.’’

When Saturday Tribune contacted the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, he said the presidency would be in the position to react to the memo.

However, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu responded with a terse text message to Saturday Tribune: “We are not reacting to that.”

Governor Nasir el-Rufai in the memo hinted that the president was not in control of his party and government.

“Mr. President, there is an emerging view in the media that you are neither leading the party nor the administration and those neither elected nor accountable appear to be in charge, and therefore the country is adrift,” el-Rufai wrote.

He also expressed concerns over what he called  the disconnect between the governors elected on the platform of the party and President Buhari, pointing fingers of scorn at aides of  the latter.

He equally indicted the national working committee of the party of cluelessness.

He said: “This situation is compounded by the fact that some officials around you seem to believe and may have persuaded you that current APC state governors must have no say and must also be totally excluded from political consultations, key appointments and decision-making at the federal level.

“These politically-naive ‘advisers’ fail to realise that it is the current and former state governors that may, as members of NEC of the APC, serve as an alternative locus of power to check the excesses of the currently lopsided and perhaps ambivalent NWC.

“Overall, the feeling even among our supporters today is that the APC government is not doing well. I am distressed that our government is seen not to be succeeding mostly due to the failures, lack of focus and selfishness of some you have entrusted to carry on and implement your vision. I am troubled that our own missteps have made the PDP and its apparatchiks so audacious and confident.”