Letter to the Editor,
National Daily Newspapers,
27th August, 2019
Re: Disquiet in Presidency as Buhari strips Osinbajo executive power
There is no iota of truth in a recent article published on August 25, 2019, by your online medium that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has been stripped of executive powers. Your report made such a claim quoting ingeniously the President’s speech at the swearing-in of members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, last week. In that speech, the President directed that communication to him by Ministers and communication regarding FEC memos should be channeled through the Chief of Staff to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) respectively.
Your report then added fictitious sources and in a most unmitigated display of journalistic recklessness, the story claimed that an “unusual confusion engulfed the Presidency over perceived stripping of executive powers off the Vice President.”
This is not only a blatant lie, it is also disturbing that such a wild claim would be made based on no evidence whatsoever in a publication that has editors.
As Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo has major roles vested by the Nigerian constitution, and he continues to function in those roles, and serve the country as deputy to President Muhammadu Buhari.
There is no controversy over the Vice President’s position in the Buhari administration. That the President directed that Ministers’ meeting requests be channeled through his Chief of Staff, or that communication regarding FEC memos should be sent through the SGF, does not in any way negate the constitutional roles and the place of the Vice President, nor strip him of any roles or power.
The Vice President continues to oversee the Economic Management Team (EMT) on the direction of the President, and play a critical role under the Buhari Administration.
Constitutionally, the VP also chairs the National Economic Council (NEC), which includes all the 36 state governors and the Governor of the Central Bank. NEC met only last week, with Prof. Osinbajo taking charge and presiding.
Also, constitutionally, the Vice President is the Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council, while the President asked him to chair the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Besides, the Office of the Vice President also coordinates the Buhari Administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP), among other responsibilities.
Even the President acknowledged the VP in his speech, stating that, “Today, I am pleased to inaugurate 43 new Ministers who will work with me and the Vice President in our service to the people of Nigeria.”
As gatekeepers, editors and reporters of The National Daily, and all journalists who aspire for credibility, cannot afford the kind of outright and misleading reportage like this particular one. Not only is this an embarrassment to other journalists, but also a disservice to public spirit and common good.
Special Assistant to the President on Communications,
Office of the Vice President
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