Drama As Buhari’s Letter Fails To Address Osinbajo As Acting President




President Muhammadu Buhari  has failed to address Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President in the letter he forwarded to the Senate about his return to London for medical follow up. As soon as Senate President Bukola Saraki read the letter, there was some sort of  drama over  the matter.

Buhari’s letter in plenary Tuesday   was  read  by Saraki .The president said: “ In compliance with section 145 {1) of the 1999 constitution as amended. I wish to inform the distinguished Senate that I will be away for a scheduled medical follow up with my doctors in London. The length of my stay will be determined by the doctor’s advice.

“While I am away the vice president will coordinate the activities of the government. Please accept the distinguished senate president the assurances of my highest consideration.‎”

Almost immediately,Senator Mao Ohabunwa,  raised a point of order on the  content of the letter.He argued that there was  no provision in the constitution for coordinating Vice President .What is in the Nigerian Constitution is Acting President.

Therefor e, Ohabunwa argued  that the content of the letter was  ambiguous  as it was not  clear enough.

But  Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan in his reaction  argued the words do not matter since the provision of the constitution  has been  satisfied.

Lawan said, “Mr president, let me say that the point of order raised by my colleague and the explanation that subsequently follows shouldn’t have been and my reasons are simple.

“I still rely on the first paragraph of that letter which Mr president wrote to this senate and read by the president of the Senate and I will read section (145) reads whenever the President transmits to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the house of representatives a written declaration but he is proceeding on vacation…
“Any other word in this letter or indeed anywhere else is irrelevant. I therefore feel that Mr president has done what the constitution requires him to do and I urge this senate not to go ahead to discuss this because its not an issue. We have the budget and so many other serious issues for us to discuss and Nigerians are waiting,”‎ Senate Leader said.

Afterwards Senate President Bukola Saraki,  while ruling on the  confusion supported the argument of Lawan, thus: “I think it is a very clear issue and what should be guided by is the constitution and I think that it is clear, the letter has referred to the constitution and there’s no ambiguity in the constitution.

“So, I don’t think there’s any issue there. Let me first rule you out if order senator Mao.‎”