Emerging report, indicates that the Presidential Villa was deserted, and all activities came to a halt, after the departure of President Muhammadu Buhari, to United Kingdom, UK, on what the Presidency termed, “routine medical check-up”.
Buhari had recently departed Nigeria for London, United Kingdom, after writing to the National Assembly, that he would proceed on a short vacation and resume on February 6. He later extended his vacation, based on the advise from his Medical Doctors in London.
Now, all actions have been shifted to the Vice President’s wing, from where Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has been calling the shots.
The Press Gallery located beside the Council Chambers in the President’s wing was deserted, as the population of worshipers who took part in Juma’at prayers at the mosque located beside the President’s office, reduced drastically.
Also, Buhari’s office has almost been deserted totally, since his departure. Politicians in particular, are no longer visiting the President’s office; and the Acting President, has been operating from the Vice President’s wing of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
Since January 19, only five State Governors have visited the Presidential Villa. They are; Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Sam Ortom (Benue), and Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo).
This is in contrast to the usual heavy traffic of Governors and other top political figures, that troop there to consult with the President, on a very regular basis.
“One cannot really say for sure why the Governors have kept off, but I know some of them will not want to be c@ught in the web of loyalty. Their visiting the Acting President, may be misconstrued to mean that they are more loyal to him than the President,” a Government Official, who pleaded anonymity said.
Recall, that the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, was at the State House, for a meeting with the Acting President, last Monday. He was however, not accompanied by any of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, members.
Also, the Acting President, has met with the leadership of the National Assembly, over economy and budget-related matters.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, have visited Osinbajo twice.
However, the routine meeting of the National Security Council, NSC, had not been convened since Buhari embarked on his vacation. The Council is headed by the President.
Since the president jetted out to the United Kingdom, there has not been any meeting of the Council of State, even though Buhari himself has only held such a meeting twice, since his assumption of office, on May 29, 2015.
Two Traditional Rulers, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, have also visited the Acting President, at the State House.
Nonetheless, despite the obvious lapses, the official position is that the Acting President, has done all that he ought to do in his capacity.
On the question of occupying the President’s office in the Villa, Spokesman to Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said it was not necessary, as his principal was only Acting as President, for the time being.