The presidency has denied that President Muhammadu Buhari authorised Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State to punish Senator Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone in the Senate.

It said it was not aware of any letter from the president now in circulation authorising the governor to do so.

A statement issued by Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), in Abuja on Sunday, said the presidency wishes to distance President Buhari from a letter currently in circulation, which it said, alleges that the President had authorised a Governor or anyone else for that matter to “deal with traitors and disloyal members of APC, especially Senator Shehu Sani.”

The statement added: “We wish to confirm that the President is not aware of any such letter, let alone authorising anyone to deal with any party member.

“Given President Buhari’s record, it is inconceivable that he would usurp the role of the party leaders and instruct anyone to punish a party member.

“In the light of above, we would like to appeal to the general public, especially members of the press, to ignore false or unauthorised information intended to attribute to the President any action which is not in line with his character.

The governor was reported to have written to the president reminding him that he had directed him (el-Rufai), to initiate a recall process for Sani following his criticism of the president.

El-Rufai’s letter to the president, which was dated October 2, read, “When your excellency travelled to London in April 2018 for medical consultation, Shehu Sani ridiculed it on Facebook as ‘Voyage to London, Season 3.

“In May 2018, he lamented what he said was Buhari’s three years of failure to protect human lives.

“In the same month, he wrote that ‘Baba should protect his testicle from any man who always bends down to greet him.

“Your Excellency will recall that earlier this year, you directed me to initiate processes to recall Shehu Sani from the Senate to punish his repeated acts of contempt and disloyalty.

“Following your directive, our team in Kaduna studied what was being done in Kogi state regarding the recall of Dino Melaye and drew up a budget. Upon examination of the costs and loopholes in the recall process, as brutally exposed in Dino Melaye’s case, and in recognition of the immense of preparations for the next elections, it was decided that it may be more prudent to oust him at the ballot.

“The party executives in his ward in Kaduna suspended him from APC in December 2015 for negative comments about your Excellency. It was later extended to an indefinite suspension in 2016.”

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