Members of the ‘cabal’ in the presidency are not hungry individuals and do not deserve the public criticism they get, a presidential aide has said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also said it was improper to refer to the president’s advisers as a ‘cabal’ and it is not true that they influence critical decisions of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Mr Shehu made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Christmas day.
Many Nigerians including the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, have said that there is a cabal of people who influence decisions taken by Mr Buhari and the presidency.
The men said to be members of the cabal include a relative of the president, Mamman Daura; an associate of the president, Isa Funtua; and the Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari.
Mrs Buhari has at several instances accused the men of controlling her husband.
She also recently accused Mr Shehu of receiving instructions from the cabal to the detriment of her husband and his immediate family. She asked him to resign or be relieved of his position.
Mr Shehu has refused to join words with the first lady but on Wednesday denied that the cabal members have a sinister motive.
He said contrary to the false belief that the cabal manipulates the president, ”they are respectable Nigerians who deserve respect because they have achieved a lot.”
“A lot of people who are being dragged into this cabal thing, they are respectable Nigerians who have achieved a lot for themselves and for the nation. They are not there as hungry people who are there to grab things for themselves,” he said.
He also said Nigerians should not brand persons close to President Buhari who have offered to serve the nation as members of a ‘cabal.’
“Nigerians have formed the practice by labeling people that are in some advisable positions of the president as a cabal.
“People (cabals) should not be labelled negatively simply because they have offered themselves to support the president of this country,” he said.