VP Sambo denies barring el Rufai from speaking at Yakowa's memorial lecture
Vice President Namadi Sambo on Thursday accused of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el Rufai of seeking cheap publicity stunt over what transpired at the one year anniversary lecture held in commemoration of late Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State.
The former minister accused the Vice president of being behind the denial of opportunity to him to speak at the event.
But the Vice President said in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Umar Sani, that el-Rufai was merely resorting to his stock-in-trade, which is unrestrained verbiage on the administration of President Goodluck Jonthan.
According to the Vice President, the former minister was not listed among the speakers by the organisers of the event.
Sanni's statement reads, 'The venue of the One Year Anniversary Lecture held in commemoration of the former Governor of Kaduna State late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa provided a platform for Mal Nasir El-Rufai to once again renew his usual verbal vituperations against the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, specifically directed at the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
'The erstwhile minister of the Federal Capital Territory brazenly accused the VP of barring him from praising late Yakowa.
'We are constrained to respond to the allegation not minding the motive but to set the records straight. The lecture was organized by the late Yakowa family exclusively including inviting those to present papers and speak at the occasion. They alone compiled the programme of events, printed and circulated same at the venue. All those who were billed to speak at the event and whose names were contained in the programme spoke. For someone who was invited by the family to speak one wonders why his name was conspicuously absent in the programme, why would the presence of the Vice President generate any problem for him, was he not aware that the Vice President was a Special Guest and was billed to speak at the event which was widely advertised in our national dailies? 'If he was desirous to raise some fundamental questions on the present happenings in the state, was the memorial lecture of Yakowa the only avenue or platform for him to do so? As a concerned Nigerian, does he not have other avenues to air his views on the happenings in the state? 'We believe that this is the cacophony and the ranting of an Accidental Politician who savours the joy of echoing directionless vituperations at responsible citizens. We believe the idea was to embark on a wild goose chase aiming to attack the Presidency for political expediency. Succinctly put, we hasten to say that no such thing happened at all. We use this opportunity to call on Mr President to disregard the comments of El-Rufai as it was done in bad faith which, as usual, was a publicity stunt to attract attention to a non-issue to score cheap political points.'