In just one month since taking over the mantle of leadership, albeit, in an acting capacity, Yemi Osinbajo has endeared himself with the Nigerian populace.
At a resumed sitting by the Senate after their now recurrent recess on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the four bills which included the Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill, 2016; National Lottery Bill, 2016; Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill, 2016, and Agricultural Credit Scheme Bill, 2016, were forwarded for immediate assent.
But Osinbajo declined, citing the existence of pending legal issue and concerns regarding words and phrases, and the spirit behind the amendment, for his refusal to assent to the bills.
This action did not go down well with some of the Senators, especially Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West at the Upper Chamber who is the sponsor of the National Lottery Bill, insisted that the executive has no right to refuse to assent to any bill forwarded to it by the Senate and must respect the principle of separation of powers.
“It is the responsibility of the executive to assent to bills made by the legislature or go to court to challenge them,” he had said.
But a Professor of Law and a very sound legal mind himself, Osinbajo took the time to lecture the Senator on the reasons for his refusal and at the end, the matter was referred to the legal department of the National Assembly for advice and interpretation.
In the same week in review, the acting President pulled another pleasant stunt when he paid a surprise visit to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos State where he was shocked at the lackadaisical attitude of staff and the dilapidated state of the structures.
According to his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo was disappointed at some of the findings at the airport especially the decrepit toilet facilities.
The visit, according to Akande, came after approving a 60-day reform plan to ease business in the country.
“Ag President Osinbajo at Lagos Int'l airport checking out toilets, carousels, immigration, toilets in the airport - to see things for himself,” Akande twitted.
Osinbajo’s Lagos visit comes just one day after he withdrew assent to four bills passed by the National Assembly.
With these activities, Osinbajo has gained the respect of Nigerians and many now believe he has performed better in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari who has been out of the country on an extended medical vacation.