The perceived rift between the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and theNational Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ahead of the 2023 presidential election is a ruse.

Special Adviser to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, made the clarification in a statement entitled – “2023 Presidential Election: No To Divisive Politics, Attempts to Foist A Crack Between Osinbajo, Tinubu Will Fail,” yesterday.

According to him, there had been recent attempts in both the print and electronic media to pitch Osinbajo against Tinubu over the 2023 general elections, saying such reports did not have the backing of the vice president.

While not claiming ignorance of those who may want to create crisis between Osinbajo and Tinubu, Ojudu said such attempts were dead on arrival, adding that the relationship between the duo which dated back to several years would continue to wax stronger.

He, therefore, called on sponsors of such reports to desist forthwith, saying the APC remains a united party and Osinbajo a loyal party member that has due respect for the structure and leadership of the party.

Stressing that the vice president has not declared interest in the 2023 presidential election, the presidential adviser, however, said Osinbajo would not commence any politicking until the electoral umpire, INEC, blows the whistle in this regard.

While wishing Tinubu good health as he returns to the country, Ojudu expressed hope that the APC National Leader would imbibe the doctrine of politics without bitterness and divisiveness.

The statement stated inter alia:

“My attention has been drawn to a media engagement on Channels TV this morning and a front page story of Daily Independent today.

“On Channels TV Sunrise programme two persons supposedly representing Asiwaju Support Group and Osinbajo Support Group were pitched against each other. On the other hand, Daily Independent ran an headline thus: 2023 Presidency: Osinbajo On a Collision Course With Tinubu, Pushes To Succeed Buhari

“It is incumbent on me to state emphatically that neither the Vice President nor his office is aware of this or endorse this kind of a divisive engagement and news reports. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are members of same party.

“Osinbajo regards Tinubu as a respected leader of a political family to which he belongs and will therefore not for any reason endorse an endeavour that seeks to pitch them against each other.

“We are not unaware of some people who may want to foist a crack among our leaders. Such an attempt is abortive. Osinbajo and Tinubu’s relationship dates way back and it shall continue to wax strong.

“Let me therefore call on individuals and media houses engaged in this act to desist from doing so. The APC remains one single, indivisible party and Osinbajo remains a loyal member of the party who respects both the party structure as well as its leadership.

“Moreover, the INEC has not given a go ahead yet for politicking towards 2023. As a law abiding citizen, Osinbajo will not commence any act in this regard until INEC blows the whistle, and in any case the VP has not indicated interest in the 2023 elections

“While appreciating individuals who are clamoring for him to contest, we however want to plead that they should not draw him or allow themselves into an unnecessary and precipitous controversy.

“We welcome our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu back into the country. As a great democrat himself, he will certainly welcome politics without bitterness and divisiveness. We wish him good health, long life and prosperity”.

THISDAY LIVE