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FG to el-Rufai: You lied, no cabal in Aso Rock working against Tinubu

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The Federal Government has reacted to Kaduna Gov. Nasir el-Rufai’s allegation that some forces in the Presidential Villa are working against the ambition of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, in the February 25 presidential poll.

The government restated that Buhari would not shy away from his avowed commitment to ensure a free, fair and credible general election.

Addressing State House correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said if there are elements within the seat of power who are working against the victory of the ruling party, it has not been brought officially to his attention.

He said Buhari, being the main occupant of the Villa, had stressed several times that his administration would deliver a credible electoral exercise in February and March.

Persecondnews reported that Gov. el-Rufai claimed “some elements” in the Presidential Villa” are working against Tinubu”.

He spoke on Channels TV breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday.

He had said: ”I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.

”They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right.

”I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something what we all agreed would be removed.”

Also, Tinubu had slammed the Buhari administration and other elements of hoarding petrol and changing the currency and caused a shortage of the new Naira notes in the country, apparently to stop him.

The minister said: “On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is focused, determined to ensure free and fair elections.

”But I think with this administration, the most important person is Mr President, and I think he has shown by words and by deeds that he is committed to free, fair and credible election.

”And fair, free, credible elections actually means not favouring anybody or disadvantaging anybody.

“And everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear even as recently last Friday when he was in Daura, he said the same thing. If there’s anybody working against a candidate we don’t know officially.”

On the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking by Transparency International, which saw Nigeria dropping five places, Mohammed said: “We are not fighting corruption because we want to impress Transparency International or any organisation whatsoever.

”We are fighting corruption because we believe if we do not fight corruption, there will be no growth either in terms of the economy or even political. Therefore, what we do and what we are putting in place to fight corruption is not because we want to be rated by anybody.

“If, for instance, what we’re doing catches the attention of transparency international and they improve and give us better marks, so we will and go. However, I can assure you that we do not know what template TI is using.

“Whatever template they’re using is clearly oblivious of what this administration is doing, to fight corruption. Corruption fighting is not just by how many people have you arrested? How many people have you tried? How many people have you convicted?

”Of course, even in that respect, we have a very impressive record. Is it the EFCC or is it the ICPC?”

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