Controversy has trailed a statement credited to one Olugbenga Olaoye, a co-convener of ‘Osinbajo Think Tank’ making reference to President Muhammadu Buhari’s health history.
The statement elicited a flurry of reactions on social media.
Olaoye’s statement drew the ire of some Osinbajo’s supporters.
But Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, urged members of the public to ‘ignore’ statements from the ‘Osinbajo Think Tank’ group.
Olugbenga Olaoye, a co-covener of Osinbajo Think Tank, had granted a television interview on Arise TV where he referred to Buhari’s health as one of the reasons to vote for Osinbajo to be elected president in 2023.
“We all know what happened to President Muhammadu Buhari at the inception of his administration,” Olaoye said.
“He spent a lot of period out of Nigeria because of his ill-health.”
He said that allowed “some people” to hijack the running of the country from the president.
But Akande said Olaoye and his group do not represent the vice-president who on Monday declared his interest to succeed Buhari in office.
“Indeed this gentleman does not represent the VP or the Office,” Akande said.
“His views are completely & totally his own.” Laolu Tweeted.
Osinbajo’s spokesman said: “This particular opinion he has expressed on TV is deplorable and in bad taste. I am not even aware of the so-called Osinbajo Think Tank he purports to represent.
“Just so we are clear, the gentleman is Olugbenga Olaoye who was a guest on AriseTV Morning Show yesterday morning.”
Also, reacting, Special Adviser, Political Matters to the President Babafemi Ojudu in a statement said: “Our attention has been called to certain off-key representation of the Vice President, going to the media to assert opinions that run contrary to his views and persona.
“The Vice President is focused on his job, while seeking the ticket of our great party. He has been a loyal, dependable and hardworking partner in delivering the progressive promise of people centered good governance, devoid of guile, in the past seven years.
“We enjoin media houses and journalists to reach out to our office to ascertain the accreditation status of representatives of varying support groups, that have since sprung up across the country, in fervent support of the Vice President.
“While we appreciate the spontaneous support for the Vice President and the willingness of these support to express themselves in the media, there has been various representatives that have gone to the media as aides of the VP or his representatives, who were wrongly tagged so.
“We hope the media will be circumspect in tagging these voices, and carefully vet these claims in the future. We are committed to civil and reasoned discourse and debates, in the next few weeks, and must avoid any kind of negativity that is not in line with the vision and temperament of the Vice President.”