Nigeria: Mutual Suspicion Splits Top Officials Along Support Lines
Indication emerged yesterday in Abuja that there is a widening mutual suspicion among the members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and other top handlers of President Muhammadu Buhari presidency.
This might not be unconnected to the resurrection of political horse-trading in the build-up to the 2019 general election.
Drama involving Nigeria’s Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari on the sideline of FEC meeting today suggests that there is a bounty of distrust and suspicion in the government over rumours that some of the cabinet members may have started nursing a contrary political ambition ahead of 2019.
A source close to the seat of power revealed to this newspaper that some individual “who feel that Buhari’s government belongs to them have become too suspicious of every move of any other person”, perhaps, giving any move a political interpretation.
The danger in this level of suspicion among top officials of the government is that the government officials would be split further into different support lines.
Some days ago, supporters of Buhari had approached him and declared support for him to contest a second term in 2019. However, other political top guns in the same ruling party seem not to have shared the same vision.
When journalists confronted a king-maker, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over his position on Buhari’s second term, Tinubu simply shoved the question away without making any comment.
Some few weeks back, one of Buhari’s Minister of women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan became confrontal with her support for Buhari’s political opponent, restating her position that she will support a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 presidential election.
“Let me tell you today that if Baba said he is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him that ‘Baba I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister but Baba just like you know I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather. If Atiku said he is going to contest.” Alhasan said.