The Presidency has frowned at the speculation tending to score the performance of the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo higher than that of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it was a calculated mischief to cause a division in the current administration.
The presidency said that the government was one and as such, there should be no basis for comparisons whatever between the President and his deputy.
The Political Adviser to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Senator Femi Ojudu made the remarks while fielding questions from State House correspondents on the speculations making the rounds, preferring Osinbajo’s style of governance to Buhari’s on Monday in Abuja.
It will be recalled that Osinbajo has been piloting the affairs of the country since January 19 when President Buhari jetted out to London, United Kingdom on medical vacation.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in Abuja.
Since his departure, Osinbajo has apparently taken a couple of initiatives that had elicited hopes that Nigeria may get out of its present state of economic recession sooner than expected.
One of those decisions was a directive to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele to review the country’s foreign exchange policy which seems to be producing results at the moment, judging from the Naira value appreciation over the Dollar.
Osinbajo had earlier also forwarded the name of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Oonneghen to the Senate for confirmation contrary to the Buhari’s perceived reluctance since appointing the CJN in acting capacity in November, 2016.
Reacting to trend of comparing the President and his Vice, Ojudu said it was completely unfounded.
He said: “I think it is thoughtless. I also see it as a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary division. It is a joint ticket. The president and the vice president were elected based on the manifesto of the party and since they were sworn-in, they have 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 the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.
“I will give you an example, there is 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 are 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.
“This is mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy are the ones promoting this kind of divisive tendencies.”
He said that the Acting President on some occasions consult the President even as he refused to accept that Osinbajo was not in charge.
“Almost on a daily basis, yes. Well, there are things he still needs to consult the President. I mean it is not a regular thing but major decisions he still has to consult Mr. President. The president is still the president.” Ojodu reiterated.
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