Pulse Opinion That excuse for cancelling this week’s FEC meeting was darn funny

Lai Mohammed announces the cancellation of a FEC meeting and renders one of the most ridiculous excuses ever.

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President Buhari chairs federal executive council meeting play

President Buhari chairs federal executive council meeting

(Nan Photos)
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When Pulse received the statement from the presidency announcing the cancellation of this week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, I laughed so hard colleagues feared I was coming down with a severe case of lunacy.

"This week's Federal Executive Council meeting will not hold due to inadequate time to prepare the documents for the meeting", read a statement from Lai Mohammed who is Minister of Information and Culture.

Preparing documents for a meeting has become rocket science around here.

Mohammed also said the "two-day public holiday declared for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations left little or no time to prepare for the weekly meeting".

Lai Mohammed play Information minister Lai Mohammed (The Nation)


If that wasn’t stand-up comedy material, I don’t know what else is.

Former federal Minister Obiageli Ezekwesili described the statement from Mohammed as "extremely hard to fathom. The quality of thought that produced this pathetic excuse of a statement.... Kai".

Oby Ezekwesili play Oby Ezekwesili (Information.ng)


First off, the presidency could have just cancelled the meeting without a ludicrous explanation.

We all know why the meeting couldn’t have held: President Muhammadu Buhari was still away in Daura where he had gone for his Sallah vacation.

ALSO READ: Here's why this week's FEC won't hold

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017 when the rest of the nation resumed work following the Eid-el-Kabir break, Buhari was still marooned in his hometown.

If Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had presided over the meeting, the world would have asked why President Buhari hadn’t made it back to Abuja in time for the meeting.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff Abba Kyari; during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja. 28th June 2017.  play Osinbajo presides over FEC meeting in Buhari's absence (Novo Isioro)


From the same Mohammed who fed the world that infamous “President will be working from home” line in a bid to defend another Buhari no-show after a FEC meeting on April 26, 2017, this week’s statement was a crying shame.

What does it take to get documents ready in time for a meeting? How many days are required to put together an agenda or document for FEC meetings?

It is not even compulsory for FEC to hold a weekly meeting. We could have been spared the attempt at an explanation.

The presidency's weak excuse reminds one of April 2017 when presidential aides Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina took turns to blame the Easter holidays for the inability to convene another FEC meeting.

“It was not to hold in the first place. It was not cancelled. You cancel something that you have planned to hold. There was holiday on Friday. There was holiday on Monday”, said Adesina.

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, March 15. play Buhari presides over FEC meeting (Sahara Reporters)


Shehu’s explanation was just as believable as the one Mohammed rendered this week: ”The staff on the Council secretariat resumed on Tuesday after the Easter. There was no time to prepare and circulate memos to ministers.

“By practice, the ministers receive council memos two or three days ahead of meetings because they must read them and sometimes undertake research. It is not a rubber stamp council so everyone must prepare themselves well for debates,”Shehu said.

In a serious country, no one will blame a lack of paperwork for why the highest decision making body in the land won’t meet.

This presidency still doesn’t get it.

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