The Presidency has debunked an alleged advisory from the Department of State Service (DSS) spelling out the risks to national stability should persons of the same faith emerge as president and vice president of the country in 2023.
This followed an exclusive report published by the Peoples Gazzette online newspaper on Saturday, claiming that the service had noted that the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, 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.”
The report suggested that a DSS memo had been forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to consider the security implications of Tinubu’s choice before making it public.
Quoting “an intelligence officer,” it claimed that the DSS produced the report and handed a copy to the National Security Adviser (NSA).
“Simply put, our understanding is that the alliance will destabilise Nigeria and embolden attacks on Christian citizens from their fellow Muslim citizens,” it quoted the official as saying, adding: “The distrust Christians are likely to harbour against a presidency occupied by two Muslims won’t make our work easy at the national security level.”
But a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), in response to the newspaper report, maintained that there is no DSS advisory before President Buhari on the APC running mate.
While noting that the report is false, the statement 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.”
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