Southern And Middle Belt Leaders Demand Explanation From Buhari On VP Osinbajo’s...

Southern And Middle Belt Leaders Demand Explanation From Buhari On VP Osinbajo’s Predicament

By Doyin Ajayi | Sub-Editor on September 30, 2019
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Edwin Clark, Buhari, Emergency, Yobe, Adamawa
Chief Edwin Clark

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has demanded explanations from President Muhammadu Buhari on the stripping of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of his constitutional functions.

The group, in an e-mailed statement to The Trent on Sunday, September 29, 2019 by Chief Edwin Clark (South-South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo (South-East) and Dr Pogu Bitrus (Middl-Belt), expressed doubts about the claims of the All Progressives Congress governors that all was well within the Presidency.

Against the backdrop of the removal of the VP as head of the government’s economic team and his replacement with an ad hoc committee by Buhari, the elder statesmen said Nigerians deserved to know what was going on in the government.

The forum said, “The office of the Vice-President today is definitely not what it was two weeks ago. Something is definitely wrong even when we cannot place our fingers on it yet.

“And this is because of the opaque handling of affairs of a supposed constitutional democracy and open society in a manner reminiscent of a kingdom where things are done according to the whims and caprices of the monarch.

“In order to preserve the unity of the country, therefore, we demand explanation on what is happening to Osinbajo from the Presidency and if no such is forthcoming, his functions should be restored.”

The SMBLF also expressed concern over the reticence of the Presidency on the allegations that Osinbajo received N90bn from the Federal Inland Revenue Service to fund the 2019 presidential elections.

 “In this dispensation in particular, references would be made to the treatment of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen; former head of the civil service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and now Prof. Osinbajo on one hand, and Mr Abdulrasheed Maina of (defunct) Pension Reform Task Force; Prof Usman Yusuf of the National Health Insurance Scheme and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano  State, on the other hand.

“We, therefore, demand a statement from the government on the weighty allegations or the government should cause an investigation to be initiated. We hold our breath until the public is properly briefed,” the forum said.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has denied endorsing corruption or exonerating anyone accused of corruption, insisting that it was not a court of law.

It explained that its Friday visit to Osinbajo was to hear his side of the story over the allegations against him, adding that there was no law against its action.

The full statement is below:

Rumble in Presidency: Need To Know

The Southern and Middle Belt Lesders Forum(SMBLF) has followed with keen interest developments in the Presidecy as regards the office of the Vice-Prsident in the past few days .

The virtual stripping of the office of the VP of most functions and responsibilities ,even some that are constitutional, by fiat does not correspond with the declaration of APC governors that all is well at the seat of power.

The office of the Vice-President today is definitely not what it was two weeks ago.

Something is definitely wrong even when we cannot place our fingers on it yet.

And this because of the opaque handling of affairs of a supposed constitutional democracy and open society in a manner reminiscent of a kingdom where things are done according to the whims and caprice s of the monarch.

We are a democracy and the people need to know the ways their lives are being run by those they have hired to do the job.

Moreover, the multi-ethnic nature of Nigeria and the geo-political balancing of its presidency will make the kind of actions that have been taken against the office of the Vice-President to attract the usual suspicion of the experiences of Ebitu Ukiwe and Oladipo Diya if there are no explanations to the public.

In this dispensation in particular, references would be made to the treatment of Justice Walter Onoghen, Mrs Winifred Oyo Ita and now Prof Osinbajo on one hand, and Mr Abdulrsheed Maina of Pension Reform Task Force, Prof Usman Yusuf of NHIS and GovernorAbdullahi Ganduje of Kano on the other hand.

In order to preserve the unity of the country therefore, we demand explanation on what is happening to Osinbajo from the Presidency and if no such is forthcoming ,his functions should be restored .

We have equally noticed the unusual quiet from the Presidency on damaging allegations against the Vice-Present.

In any normal clime, it should not have taken more than a day for the Presidency to dispel the allegations to maintain the moral standing of the VP and the integrity of the administration.

We therefore demand a statement from the government on the weighty allegations or an investigation to be caused.

We hold our breath until the public is properly briefed.

Chief E K Clark
South South

Chief Ayo Adebanjo
South West

Chief John Nwodo
South East

Dr Pogu Bitrus
Middle Belt

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