A top ranking official in the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaks to Pulse on the recent fallout between Osinbajo and President Buhari.
A top ranking source in the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tells Pulse that all is well between the nation’s number two citizen and President Muhammadu Buhari.
For the better part of a fortnight, the Nigerian media space has been awash with tales of a fallout between Osinbajo and Buhari, especially after the president named an Economic Advisory Council (EAC); amid reports that Osinbajo has been ordered to seek Buhari's approvals to run agencies attached to his office.
Pulse had done a story on the entire development which you can read here.
However, an aide of the vice president who pleaded that his name be left out of this story tells Pulse that “Yes, the President in the exercise of his powers has formed a new Economic Advisory Council and replaced the Economic Management Team (EMT) which was led by the vice president. This is really a change in strategy and not a reduction of the statutory functions of the vice president.
“As the Chairman of the constitutionally created National Economic Council (NEC), the vice president will continue to play a leading role in economic matters in singular support and assistance of his principal, Mr. President. Only last Thursday the VP at the NEC meeting clarified that both NEC and the new EAC will interact.
“On the issue of agencies under the VP, the truth is that nothing is changing and there are no new directives. This is because nothing has gone wrong at all. A presidency statement already clarified this. All the other stuff you read are all lies!
Running the agencies, corruption allegations
When Pulse asked this aide if Osinbajo is still overseeing the affairs of the agencies assigned to his office he said, “Let us review some of the lies so far. That the new presidential directives have affected the VP’s Chairmanship of NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency), NDPHC (Niger Delta Power Holding Company)? It is a lie. In fact, on the same day NEC met last week, VP also presided over an NDPHC board meeting.”
There have also been reports bordering on corruption in the office of the vice president. This top aide tells Pulse that: “There are wild speculations on this, but they are all fabricated without exception.
“Specifically on the NEMA probe, the House of Representatives did not indict the VP. The report of the committee is in the public domain.
“The committee said the VP, then Acting President did not seek appropriations for the money he approved to deal with the impending famine in the North-east.
“But the presidency issued a public statement to say, no, the money the Ag President approved for release in those dire emergency situation was sourced from the Rice Levy which had already been appropriated in that year's budget. And that explanation settled the matter.
“Why is it coming out now again? Desperate elements who just want to confuse those who are gullible are behind all of this. Please be above such fake news.
“A new lie discovered is that some money was found in some private accounts related to the family of the VP family or that some FIRS (Federal Inland Revenue Service) funds were traced to the VP'S office and that Asiwaju Tinubu and Baba Akande were informed of some financial scandals or that Asiwaju himself is behind the attempt to smear the VP. All of these stories are pure lies.”
A cabal to be afraid of
Pulse has been told by various sources that the cabal in the villa is behind recent attempts to cut Osinbajo to size, whittle his powers, emasculate him and put him out of the 2023 presidency permutations.
The president's powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and his cousin Mamman Daura have been mentioned by almost all of our sources as the unseen hands behind Osinbajo's current travails. Kyari did not immediately respond to Pulse' inquiries on the subject.
When we brought the subject before our Aso Villa source, he said: “There is certainly a group of people within and outside government who want to attack the cordiality between the president and his constitutional deputy, the VP. So they are actively seeking to sow seeds of discord as some of them are afraid of what 2023 portends.”
Pulse will continue to bring you updates on this story as events unfold.