A group known as Era of Change has condemned the claims that Maryam Shetty and Bashir Gwandu were replaced and sacked by President Bola Tinubu for being supporters of Yemi Osinbajo, immediate past vice-president of Nigeria.
In a statement on Monday, Yahya Umar, national coordinator of the group, said the people behind the reports were trying to spread “bad blood” within the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Osinbajo who contested a presidential aspirant in the APC primary was seen to have been supported by Maryam Shetty who shared his campaigns on her social media pages.
On August 3, Tinubu withdrew Shetty’s ministerial nomination and replaced her with Mariya Mahmoud.
Umar described the claim as 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”.
“We think some people are simply trying to create bad blood within the party and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal,” he said.
Speaking on Tinubu’s decision, Umar said the president is now the “boss”, and has the right to “decide in the interest of the public”.
He said the former vice-president is a committed member of the APC, adding that he has received accolades of a “peace icon” for his service to the nation.
Commenting on the sack of Bashir Gwandu as executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), he said the claims about his removal over support for Osinbajo were a “wicked fabrication”.
On September 1, Tinubu sacked Gwandu and replaced him with 32-year-old Khalil Halilu.
“Prof. Osinbajo has served Nigeria meritoriously and would not interfere with the new government, why drag him into matters he has no business in,” he added.
“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?
“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.