Buhari leaves Osinbajo ‘floating’, signs bill in UK

President Muhammadu Buhari has temporarily relocated the Presidency to the United Kingdom where he signed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Amendment Bill into law Monday.

Buhari, who left Saudi Arabia on Saturday where he spent five days on an official trip, moved to the UK for a private visit which the presidency said will last till November 17.

Daily Trust reports that while in London, Buhari Monday announced through a post on his official Twitter handle, @MBuhari the signing of the amendment to the Deep Offshore Act.

Buhari had in the past allowed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to act as president even when he intended to spent fewer days, a development that gave leverage to his deputy to take serious decisions relating to governance.

For instance, Buhari had while on foreign trips including during his long medical vacation in London, allowed Osinbajo to act as president following the transmission of letters to the National Assembly in line with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution.

The section reads: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”

Also, when the president was proceeding on a 10-day vacation in London in 2018, he handed over to Osinbajo to act from August 3 to 13.

However, some politicians and activists spoken to on Monday said something was wrong in the villa, insisting that the fact that the president signed a bill while abroad was to send a strong signal that the vice president will not be allowed to take serious decisions anymore.

“The action doesn’t give a picture of good working relationship between the president and the vice president because the president is supposed to be on leave,” said Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).

“Inasmuch as signing the bill is good, the timing will create space for suspicion. It is important to avoid things that will create unnecessary misunderstanding and suspicion because it will affect governance,” he said.

A lecturer at the University of Lagos, Dr. Kayode Esuola, said what happened was an indication that the president is now not comfortable with the vice president. “There is the question of trust,” he said.

“I think that the president is uncomfortable over the rumour and counter rumour, insinuation and counter insinuation that Osinbajo wants to vie for the presidency in 2023,” he said.




– Daily Trust

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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