By Adetokunbo FAKEYE
Nigeria - A political group has condemned attempts by some faceless individuals to disparage the immediate former Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, over recent decisions of the President Bola Tinubu Administration to drop a ministerial nominee and the sack of an agency head.
The Group, Era Of Change (EOC, in a statement signed on Monday by its National Coordinator, Ambassador Yahaya Umar, noted that the party politics within the All Progressives Congress (APC) should not be used to target the former number two citizen whom, he noted, had already received global applause for the meritorious services he rendered to his fatherland such as the award of Africa's "Peace Icon" by Peace Ambassador Agency Worldwide.
Referring to the recent pre-ministerial appointment's scheming which saw the president's withdrawal of the ministerial nomination of Maryam Shetty from Kano and her replacement with Dr Mariya Mahmoud, the political group faulted what it called an "unverified and unfounded claim" that she was reportedly dropped for being an ardent supporter of Osinbajo as circulated in a section of the media.
Similarly, it described it as "a wicked fabrication," news circulated over the weekend that Dr Bashir Gwandu, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), was sacked by President Bola Tinubu and replaced by Khalil Suleiman Halilu" with immediate effect", because he (Gwandu), "was recommended for the position by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is not in the good books of the current administration, even though they’re all members of the same party".
According to the group, the report was "a mere speculation and fabrication from the figment of the imagination of the writer who was not bold enough to name any credible source, which obviously is nonexistent".
Dismissing the reports, over the withdrawal of Shetty's nomination as a minister attributed to her support for Osinbajo during the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primaries, the Era Of Change coordinator explained, "We think some people are simply trying to create bad blood within the party and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
"Prof. Osinbajo has served Nigeria meritoriously and would not interfere with the new government, why drag him into matters he has no business in?
"It is important to note that some people who worked for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to emerge as President were not appointed; would that be attributed to Prof. Osinbajo too?" he said.
The group added that Prof. Osinbajo is a staunch APC member and will continue to be committed to the party irrespective of what traducers say.
"Osinbajo has global engagements and appointments and he is more concerned about giving his best to Nigeria and Nigerians through these engagements, he should be left out of this weak politics.
"Those behind this petty rumour should desist, the APC as a party has worked to do and every member of the ruling party should pour their energy into this course.
"We wish President Tinubu well as he works tirelessly to steer Nigeria in the right direction. All hands should be on deck as the party delivers on campaign promises," the group said.
Also, on Gwandu's sack, the group said the President as the head of the government has the right to decide on who he retains and who he sacks especially as he is forming his direct team after assuming office as the country's helmsman.
"President Bola Tinubu is now the boss of everyone. And by his constitutional mandate, he has the power to appoint and sack anyone without prior notice, that is what makes him the Commander-in-Chief.
"It is his time, let him decide as he likes in the national interests. Don't bring the name of Osinbajo, who has served creditable well into the mainstream of activities. Let the current government decide on the best way forward for the country", the EOC warned in the statement.