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Presidency Dismisses Media Report On DSS Advisory Before Buhari On Shettima’s Choice As Tinubu’s Running Mate

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President Muhammadu Buhari/Bola Tinubu





The presidency has described as ‘false story’ media report that an intelligence report had warned President Muhammadu Buhari against allowing Bola Ahmed Tinubu run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

www.bigpenngr.com reports that in a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, (Media & Publicity), entitled “THERE IS NO DSS ADVISORY BEFORE PRESIDENT BUHARI ON APC RUNNING MATE, IT’S A FALSE STORY”, the presidency said; “We wish to advise well-meaning Nigerians to ignore a laughably puerile report by an apparently pirate online newspaper seeking to sow division and chaos on the choice of Governor Kashim Shettima as the Running Mate of our Party’s Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“This so-called newspaper is like a deadly virus. Stay safe by keeping away from its toxic reports”, the statement reads.

In the report published by investigative online tabloid, Gazette which had gone viral, the newspaper said that Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s decision to nominate a fellow Muslim as vice-presidential candidate for 2023 presidential election is a tailored recipe for renewed sectarian crises that could destabilise Nigeria, according to a processed intelligence report sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the State Security Service and shared with Peoples Gazette by national security officials this week.

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According to the newspaper, “the document, which got to the president by way of the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, said Mr Tinubu should consider security implications of his selection before making it public, according to three officials briefed on the report.

“The SSS produced the report and handed a copy to the NSA,” an intelligence officer told The Gazette. “The NSA looked at the report and added it for security briefing to the president.’’

“Simply put, our understanding is that the alliance will destabilise Nigeria and embolden attacks on Christian citizens from their fellow Muslim citizens,” the official said. “The distrust Christians are likely to harbour against a presidency occupied by two Muslims won’t make our work easy at national security level.”

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“The official said Mr Buhari was not involved in the deliberations that led to Mr Tinubu’s announcement of Kashim Shettima, from Boko-Haram stronghold in Borno, as his 2023 running mate to the ire of Christians across the country.

“People can say whatever they like about Mr President, but as a senior intelligence administrator I can guarantee you he was not involved in Tinubu’s decision at all,” the official said in a remarkable moment of candour.

Quoting another official, the newspaper said the report was commissioned after Mr Tinubu became the standard-bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress on June 8 and started embracing the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket as the most potent strategy to be elected as president in an ethnically and religiously polarised country like Nigeria.

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“Traditionally, northern Muslims have voted more than southern Christians, a traditional pattern which Mr Tinubu looked to exploit, particularly as a similar ticket in 1993 saw the election of Moshood Abiola as president despite picking Babagana Kingibe, a northern Muslim, as running mate. While the ticket was accepted by Nigerians at the time, the victory was annulled by former dictator Ibrahim Babangida and augured a protracted turmoil across the country. Christian leaders said Mr Abiola’s fate should be a cautionary tale for Mr Tinubu.

“Strong intelligence led us to believe that he was passionate about the idea of a Muslim running mate,” the second official, an assistant director at the SSS, said. “By the time our analysts reassessed the state of the country right now and what would likely come out of a Muslim president and vice-president, everything tilted towards negative and very dangerous times ahead.”

Mr Tinubu unveiled Mr Shettima, a serving senator and under whose governorship tenure Boko Haram became an international terror network between 2011 and 2019, on Sunday evening, saying his action was based on merit as against religious consideration.

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