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Buhari Letter: “Needless Controversy and Distraction”-Lai Mohammed

Buhari Letter: “Needless Controversy and Distraction”-Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the ongoing debate over the status of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as Nigeria’s Acting President is a needless distraction.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was presided over by Vice President Osinbajo, the Information Minister described the uproar trailing the matter as ‘a needless controversy’. The minister explained that the arguments over the content of the President’s correspondence were just “a distraction.”

Mohammed urged Nigerians not to allow themselves to be swayed by the divergent interpretations. He insisted that the operating sentence in the letter sufficiently complied with the relevant provisions of the constitution which is reference to section 145(1) of the Constitution.

Section 145 states: “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.”

Controversy arose Tuesday after the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari intimating the Senate of his return to the UK to see his doctors.

The President in the latter stated that while he is away, for a yet to be determined period, Mr. Osinbajo would coordinate the affairs of the government.

A senator, Mao Ohabunwa, had raised a point of order saying Mr. Buhari’s choice of words may affect the status of the Vice President. He was however, ruled out of order by Mr. Saraki.

A human rights lawyer, Ebun Olu-Adegoruwa, on Wednesday asked the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Buhari, saying the content of the letter did not transmit full presidential powers to Mr. Osinbajo.

 

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