BreakingNews 28/2/17: Osinbajo consults Buhari on major decisions -Presidency

[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - Acting President Yemi Osinbajo consults his boss, Muhammadu Buhari, on a daily basis before taking major decisions, the Presidency has said. Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents yesterday.


Osinbajo has been acting as president since January 19 when Buhari embarked on medical vacation in the United Kingdom.


Critics have rated the performance of the acting president higher than that of his boss.


However, the presidential aide described the comparison as thoughtless and a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary ‎division.


Asked whether Osinbajo has been consulting Buhari, Ojudu  said: “Almost on a daily basis, yes.‎ Well, there are things he still needs to consult the president on. I mean it is not a regular thing, but major decisions he still has to consult Mr. President. The president is still the president.


“It is joint ticket; the president and the vice president were elected based on the manifesto of the party and since they were sworn-in, they’ve been committed to implementing that manifesto. The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing, are the ones saying this. It is now that the policies we’re implementing are maturing and they’re seeing the result. It’s not a question of one person being better than the other person.


“I’ll give you an example. There’s nothing that has been done since the vice president started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. A good example is the Niger Delta initiative. “The president called the vice president and said I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefits of Nigerians. We’re losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day; all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the president has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession. The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta. It is the initiative of Mr. President, not that of Vice President.”


He said those comparing Buhari and Osinbajo were mischief makers “who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy (and) are the ones promoting this kind‎ of divisive tendencies.”


On whether Osinbajo’s consultation with Buhari implied that the former was not in charge, Ojudu said: “He is in charge, but like I said earlier on, this is a joint ticket. The president of Nigeria remains the president of Nigeria. He (Osinbajo) is acting because it is one and the same (Presidency).


“He (Buhari) is more experienced. He has been in the game longer than the vice president and if there are major issues that he (Osinbajo) needs to take decision on, he could call on him and say Sir, what do you think about this we are about to take decision on it? Do you have opinion? That does not mean he is not in charge.”


Ojudu hinted that Osinbajo was working very hard to impress Buhari that he was capable of ensuring the nation moved on well in his (the president’s) absence.


“One other thing you have to see is that if you give someone a responsibility, he must be able to show to Mr. President that despite that he is not being around, it is not going to create any vacuum. He can then decide not to sleep at all, all through the time the president is away just to show him that he is capable of ensuring that Nigeria goes on well while he is away.


“And the President could also have given the mandate that let nothing go wrong, I believe in you, I appointed you as my Vice President, you must make sure that you do this. If you have a boss who gives you an assignment, you will want to impress him and Nigerians as well.


“And that for me is what has happened. ‎Is not that one person is better than the other, certainly not.”


Asked if he was labelling Nigerians an opposition, he responded: “Is it not those in opposition that are talking? I’m telling you that I’ve seen some things sent out intentionally to cause some kind of division within the Presidency. 


“Some people who have been condemning everybody in the past, I see them on twitter and on facebook and generally on social media. Some people are trying to promote division and we’re not going to allow that. This president and the vice president work together in tandem and I know they both have confidence in this nation.”


On the reported claim by some clerics in Katsina State that Buhari was poisoned, Ojudu stated: The way I’ll react to that is that those of you in the media should be careful what you pick from the social media now. It’s becoming factory for fake news in Nigeria. 


“A lot of things you see on social media can never be true. I saw that, I read it and I assessed it using the prism of these factors, those indices we use to analyse stories in the media and found out that, that it cannot be true.


“For example, they said somebody kept N77trn somewhere. Imagine that. What is the total value of Nigeria’s economy that because of somebody keeping N77trn therefore, some people want to poison him so that they can inherit the money? I mean we’ve a president that nobody in this country can question his integrity. As a young officer, a middle officer, a senior officer and as a head of state till now, nobody has been able to tarnish his image or come up with anything. For me it’s not even worth responding to, as soon as I read it, I dismissed it. It’s so ridiculous. Again, it’s the handiwork of our enemies.


“The problem is fakeness has almost become global and universal. Other countries are experiencing it. Those who want to destabilise the country come up with all kinds of stupid stories, some kind of unimaginable stories. So, we should just discountenance those things.” 


*Photo Caption - Osibanjo-LEFT; Buhari-RIGHT

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