All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday denied any rift between them.
They spoke against the background of reports that the decision to disallow groupings within the Lagos APC was targeted at Aregbesola.
There was report citing the dissolution of political groups launched by Aregbesola in Lagos and a 2023 presidential ambition from the former Osun Governor, as reasons behind his “cold war” with Tinubu.
Meanwhile, Media Adviser to Tinubu Alhaji Tunde Rahman in a statement, maintained that there was no quarrel between Tinubu and Aregbesola.
He said: ”Today, the Governor’s Advisory Council, the highest decision-making body within the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, passed a resolution calling for the disbandment of all factional groups within the party.
“This was to promote discipline, harmony and cohesion and engender party supremacy. The APC is one united political family in Lagos.
“Our attention has, however, been drawn to a report in an online newspaper alleging that the GAC’s appropriate and candid resolution had worsened a phantom cold war between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“This is a figment of the imagination of the news organisation that authored the report. Asiwaju Tinubu remains Ogbeni Aregbesola’s leader. The former governor of Osun State has been unswervingly and wholly committed to the progressive ideology of the Tinubu political family.
He added: “There is no war, cold or hot, between them. There has never been and there will never be. Asiwaju believes in him and he believes in the APC leader.
“Our political family remains strong. And we are staying focused in our commitment to building and maintaining a cohesive political party.
“The GAC is a very strong body within the APC leadership structure in Lagos. Its resolution is not targeted at any particular individual or collection of individuals.
“The resolution was to restate the often-stated position that the only group known to us is APC and not any of the factional groups. It was to renew the commitment to APC and its unity.
“Ogbeni Aregbesola is a strong member of the political family. The GAC position does not imply any division within the group. The resolution is well-meaning and should not be misinterpreted.
“To do so impulsively as the authors of the report has done is to take the frontier of reporting away from facts to the realm of groundless speculations.
Aregbesola also debunked claims of nursing presidential ambition in 2023.
He said his loyalty to Tinubu is total, stressing that his commitment to his leader is unwavering.
The minister said he knew where the story was coming from and the identity of those sponsoring it.
Aregbesola said:”’Rift with Asiwaju Tinubu? Nothing can be more impossible. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I remain committed to my mentor. The group our detractors claim has been banned is the most committed to the realization of Asiwaju’s ambition.”
He added: “They even said I have presidential ambition. False.”
The minister maintained that the APC is one, adding that the party is like an oak tree that keeps growing.
He said his focus and goal are to execute his ministerial duties as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, urging his supporters to ignore the publication in its entirety and refrain from being distracted from the goal of building a strong APC and a united Nigeria.