The Reuters news agency, quoting Presidency sources has cast a huge doubt over suggestions, especially from apologists for President Yemi Osinbajo, that he is in charge, as absentee president Muhammadu Buhari enters his 100th day in London on sick leave.
Quoting an Aso Rock official the report claims: “He (Osinbajo) is so scared to offend President Buhari to the extent that he takes no major action without consent from him through phone.” It goes on: “Osinbajo and his aides often hold meetings which has enlivened a presidential villa criticized for inertia — but he still seeks approval from Buhari or his chief of staff”.
Chief of staff Abba Kyari is reportedly the foster son of Buhari’s uncle and the alleged head of the “cabal” that is said to be running the regime, Mamman Daura.
Osinbajo is referred to in many Nigerian quarters as the “Acting President” and many commentators have created the impression that he is in charge in Buhari’s absence, claiming that there is no “power vacuum” as the president recuperates from his mystery illness.
However, the Reuters report paints a different picture: “He [Osinbajo] flew to London for a few hours last month to get Buhari’s approval to appoint two ministers who had been already cleared by parliament, the official said.
“During the meeting, Buhari even asked Osinbajo to give the ministers no portfolio as he wanted to assign them himself after his return, he said.
“Moreover, when Osinbajo tried appointed a new board for an anti-corruption commission he had to withdraw his candidates because Buhari’s aides did not like two names, the official said.”
If the vice president has any self respect, he should either assert his constitutional authority or resign and stop taking part in the charade.