Reports of altercation between Kyari, Oyo-Ita wrong – Presidency
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Friday said journalists were not privy to the subject of the altercation that occurred between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.
Shehu said it was impossible for the conversation between them to have been heard by any journalist, as the distance between the State House correspondents and the two government officials as they addressed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo 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 presidential aide said.
Shehu also denied the report that Kyari and Oyo-Ita were summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari because of the issue.
“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.
The mild drama had played out at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The heated argument between the two government officials was believed to be based on Oyo-Ita’s leaked memo to Kyari on the controversial reinstatement and subsequent posting of the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Commission, Abdulrasheed Maina.
A video of the incident had since gone viral.
The mild drama played out in the presence of Osinbajo; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara; the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; service chiefs and ministers.
Saraki, Dogara, Oyegun and the service chiefs were present to witness the inauguration of the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, as well as the inauguration of the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem.