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No Rift Between Oyo-Ita, Abba Kyari – Presidency

By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah

The Presidency has described newspaper reports of a fight between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and Head of Service to the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita top government as fabrications.

At a short meeting with State House Correspondents at the Media Center, State House, Aso Rock Villa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said by tradition, the media organisations send their best reporters to the State House. This should reflect, at all times on the quality of reporting.

“I am a journalist myself, and in journalism, you are not supposed to report anything other than the facts of what you heard or observed directly, or what you were told by a firsthand or authoritative eyewitness,” he said. “You cannot add two and two to make twenty-two and present it to the public as news.”

Malam Shehu insisted that it was impossible for the conversation between the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Head of Service of the Federation Mrs Oyo-Ita to have been heard by any journalist, as the distance between the State House correspondents and the two government officials as they addressed the Vice President at Wednesday’s FEC meeting, would have made their conversation completely inaudible to the journalists.

“People can debate and argue over issues, but to suggest that there was a feud, a fight or a clash was to take matters beyond what they were,” the SSA media said.

Malam Shehu also denied categorically any suggestion that the two government officials had been summoned to see the President over the alleged skirmish, referring to that conclusion as yet another example of conjecture.

“Top government officials of that calibre see the President on a regular basis. To suggest that they were summoned to see him as a result of a so-called feud is just a fabrication, a conclusion that is below the level of responsible journalism that we expect from our State House correspondents,” he said.

LEADERSHIP recalls that there was drama on Wednesday inside the Council Chamber of the presidential villa, Abuja as Oyo-Ita and Abba Kyari engaged in an argument.

Both Oyo-Ita and Kyari had been present for the scheduled launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2018 Emblem and Appeal Fund as well as the swearing-in of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, when the confrontation took place.

A visibly angry HoS was apparently reacting to the circumstances surrounding the leaked memo when being questioned by both Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief of Staff shortly before the commencement of the events.

For about 10 minutes, there were exchanges between Oyo-Ita and Kyari in the presence of other senior government functionaries.

Those present include Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, Chief of justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen; the Governor of Adamawa, Jubrila Bindow, All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, heads of paramilitary services, among others.

The HoS showed her anger by gesticulating in an obvious effort to drum home her point in an argument with the CoS.

She rose and sat again on her seat a couple of times before moving towards the Vice President to continue to make her case.


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