President Muhammadu Buhari has warned his media aides against “engaging or instigating attacks” against former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statement on the performance of the president.
Mr. Obasanjo last week issued a damning statement accusing Mr. Buhari of incompetence and asked him not to seek re-election in 2019.
Following Obasanjo’s statement last week, Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, described Obasanjo as a patriot who meant well.
Mohammed however, said the Buhari administration had performed well, even in the handling of the economy, which he said was the kernel of Obsanjo’s concern.
He listed some of the economic achievements of the president in the last two years, saying, perhaps, due to his busy schedule, Obasanjo may not have had the time to follow what was going on.
A source at the presidential villa said that immediately after Obasanjo issued his statement, Buhari warned his aides “not to attack or instigate any attack on the former President”.
“You can see that is why everybody is very careful on this matter. Mr. President specifically warned against engaging President Obasanjo negatively,” the aide, who declined to be named because he was not permitted to speak officially on the issue said.
Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, on Monday however attacked the former president, accusing him of “sensationalism”.
Shittu said as a Minister for two years in the administration of Buhari, he considered it a patriotic duty to speak out.
He said he was speaking personally and as an APC member, because, according to him, the government had not been talking enough.
Shittu also recently opened a South West campaign office for Buhari and his vice, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, ahead 2019 election in Ibadan Oyo state.
The Communications Minister also came to the meeting of the Federal executive Council, FEC, with bags full of Buhari/Osinbajo caps and began sharing to members of the cabinet before he was stopped by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Asked why Shittu was allowed to use the State House to attack Mr. Obasanjo despite the warning from the president, our source said “the Minister, like he also said is on his own”.