EDITORIAL: Stop intimidating the office of the Vice President

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Last week the rumour of the sack of 35 presidential aides in the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo filtered into public space. The development would later be confirmed by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Muhammadu Buhari, that the sack was indeed not a hoax.

According to Shehu, the decision to lay off these aides less than 6 months of their appointment was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to trim down the cost of governance. While this may be a cogent reason, a reasonable one at that, it nevertheless exposed the hypocrisy in the office of the president. It has reconfirmed the insinuation that all is not well between some powerful persons in the office of the President and the Vice President.

Constitutionally, the vice president is next to the president in the hierarchy of authority in the country, however politically, the vice president is as powerful as the president wants his deputy to be. That some persons in the office of the President who are believed to have the ear and heart of the President usurp the powers of the president and influence his decision is rather unfortunate. The president must cease to be a willing pawn in a game he is expected to be the player.

There is doubt that the marginal success recorded by the Buhari-led administration between 2015 and 2019 has huge impute of Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his team of presidential aides, most of whom are now affected by the layoff. IMPACT NEWS is in support of every reasonable act of governance aimed at reducing the cost of administration, yet, we refuse to be swept off by the energy the villa emits since the dawn of the Buhari’s second term in office.

Is the president quick to forget the various initiatives implemented from the office of the vice present investment first tenure that formed the basis of his campaign during the build up to the 2019 presidential election? Has the President who himself commended the loyalty of his deputy while he was in far away in the United Kingdom due to ill health forgotten the same loyalty? Should we say thus systemic ridicule is the Buhari’s way of expressing appreciation? Is this the way and manner to reward a man who almost lost his live and that of his aides, some of whom are now sacked during the electioneering campaign in helicopter crash? The President must call the so called cabal in his office to order.

How will the president office talk of reducing the cost of governance yet more ministries were created? The recent attacks on the office of the vice present should cease.

The president has done nothing but undermining the powers and responsibilities of the vice president since the commencement of his second term. How will you describe the creation of an unconstitutional economic team without involving the Vice President who is constitutionally the chairman of the constitutionally recognized economics council? What is the rationale behind moving the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment from the supervision of the Vice President to a newly created ministry? Why would parastatals and agencies under the purview of the office of the Vice President be removed?

As Nigerians we charged President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to this occasion and save the sanctuary of the office the vice president from the claws of those who have little interest of the country at heart.

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