A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has described the insinuation that President Muhammadu Buhari referred to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a “co-ordinator” and not “Acting President” as “insulting and dangerous”.
In his letter transmitted to the Senate notifying them of his medical vacation in the UK, President Buhari was quoted as saying: “While I am away, the Vice President will coordinate the activities of the government.”
But while the letter was being read to the distinguished senators on the floor of the upper chamber on Tuesday, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, (Abia-North) had pointed out that the transfer of power from Buhari to Yemi Osinbajo was not clear, calling for it to be disregarded. Senator Ohuabunwa’s statement reads in part;
“Mr. President, I don’t think in our Constitution we have anything like ‘coordinating president’ or ‘coordinating vice president.’ It is either you are vice president or you are acting president and any letter (on transfer of power) should be unambiguous and very clear. So, I am saying that this letter really does not convey anything because ‘coordinating’ has no space or any place in our Constitution.
“We have been having (receiving) letters like this in which he will tell us who is the acting president and we will know who to deal with as a Senate. This is the highest legislative body of any country and if you are sending us a letter, it should be direct, unambiguous. So, I am saying that this letter, for me, is not right and maybe it should be sent back.”
But obviously piqued by such insinuation, Fani-Kayode speaking via his Twitter page, said that any attempt by the corpsocrats to prevent the VP from being Acting President by referring to him as a “coordinator” is insulting and dangerous.
“It is time for us to decide: do we have a nation of equals or not?If not let us break it! When u tell us that the VP cannot be Acting Pres.
“Even though the Pres. is critically sick and on indefinite medical leave u are playing with fire. There are NO more slaves in Nigeria,” he wrote.
In the same vein, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo via his twitter handle on Tuesday night addressed the speculations.
Responding to a twitter user who asked why President Buhari did not hand over the affairs of the country to him, Osinbajo said President Buhari did transfer power to him and that he had sent a letter to the Senate in compliance with S.145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which reads:
“Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”