Buhari Denies Sidelining Osinbajo
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo remains his closest adviser since he resumed office a week ago.
Buhari was reacting to a newspaper report on Sunday that following his return after a 103-day medical vacation in London, the ‘cabal’ had staged a comeback, which culminated in the purported sidelining of Osinbajo.
Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said he has not sidelined his Vice from participating in critical affairs of governance.
Shehu said it was “absolutely nonsensical and absurd” to write that in one week of the president’s return, the vice president had become "irrelevant".
He described a report that a cabal has staged a comeback since Buhari’s return as recycled hate campaign aimed at pulling down the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
The presidential spokesman said: “He (Osinbajo) has attended all the President’s engagements all through the week with the exception of two: one, the VP was away to Taraba State and two, the Juma’at Muslim prayer because he is a Christian.
He said when Buhari was away on medical vacation, Kyari rallied the Presidency behind Osinbajo “because he knew that his boss, President Buhari expected nothing less.
“If I can speculate on the matter, I will say that the problem Kyari has with most people is that he, like the President he serves, will not throw money at people in order to please them.”
Shehu disclosed that Kyari had refused to keep cash imprest and had turned down a monthly grant of N200 million “customarily given to the office. This is money freely spent because they were not required to account for what they did with it.”
Shehu also said President Buhari is not subject to any undue influence or manipulation.
“It is difficult to understand what anyone wants to achieve peddling such falsehood that the President, himself a former military general and Head of State and Commander-In-Chief is subject to undue influence and manipulation. It is both ridiculous and inconceivable.”
“As someone who works very closely with President Buhari, I can testify to how my years of experience as a newspaper editor are often put to the test by the sheer thoroughness with which the President edits every single document brought to his desk. Every memo, statement, speech, is subject to his intense scrutiny, right down to the placement of commas and full stops.
“Therefore, alleging that President Buhari signs memos brought to him by government officials or a so-called cabal without reading them, immediately casts doubts on the credibility of the ubiquitous unnamed sources that the reporters of these articles quote. But, of course, the President cannot do everything. He cannot micromanage every task. That is why he needs close officials, whom he trusts, who will be willing to offend others in the process of ensuring his own safety and wellbeing, and the advancement of his vision for Nigeria.”
“Publishing poorly-researched allegations and trying to pass them off as investigative journalism or as news may lead to more newspaper sales or to more clicks on a website; but they will also, in the long run, slow down the growth and development of our country, which right now requires the absolute focus of President Buhari and his carefully-selected team to build the Nigeria of our dreams.”