…. Shuts out ministers, presidential aides
….. Meets with only First Lady
From his recuperation room in London, President Muhammadu Buhari, has reportedly been resisting attempts by some government officials, including ministers to undermine Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, The Nationcan now reveal.
He has refused to see such officials who sneak to the United Kingdom with files for his signature, it was gathered yesterday.
Buhari, authoritative government sources said, rejected the files and asked the affected government functionaries to take all documents and issues to Acting President Osinbajo.
He has also refused to grant audience to ministers and some presidential aides who indicated interest to see him.
But the President met with First Lady Aisha during her recent trip to London, contrary to social media reports.
Sources said the President insisted that his administration runs one Presidency and since there is an Acting President in place, any attempt to create a division by anyone will not be tolerated.
It was gathered that one of the delegations that went on a futile trip to see Buhari returned to Abuja on Wednesday a few hours to the signing of the 2017 Budget by the Acting President.
It was learnt that during the failed trips, some files and documents were taken to the President ostensibly for his perusal and approval, but he refused to act on them.
In line with his belief in due process, the President directed that all files and documents be made available to the Acting President.
A top source said: “Despite the fact that he is fast recuperating, the President has tried as much as possible to stick to one presidency.
“He has refused to see some government officials who went to London to see him instead of being at their desks to work. He also returned all files and documents to those who brought them to London.
“The President gave stern instructions that all files, documents and issues needing decisions should be taken to the Acting President. He does not want a divided government. Buhari is living up to his Spartan discipline.
“He has restricted audience to two or three personal aides with him in London. This is why there are no leaks associated with his first medical trip this time around.”
The source added: “Those involved in taking files and documents to London had their ego deflated. Since their return from the various shuttles, they have been trying to curry the favour of the Acting President or cooperate with him. They did not know that intelligence report had exposed their antics.
“And the truth is that the President has been speaking with the Acting President.”
On the controversy surrounding the visit of the First Lady to London, the source said: “As a matter of fact, the First Lady, met with the President without any encumbrances.
“Any story to the contrary is false. There is enough evidence to prove that she met with her husband. No one prevented her.
“Some people came out with the rumour because the President has limited contact with them this time around because of leaks during his last trip.
“Some of those who visited the President during the initial shuttle for medical care turned out to feed Nigerians with false information on his health.
“It became necessary to restrict access to two of three aides. Not everyone with the President in London is allowed to see or meet with him. Ministers and government officials have been shut out too.
“The declaration of the First Lady that the President was pleased with the conduct and performance of the Acting President was at the prompting of her husband to checkmate those who indulge in flying to London for unnecessary consultations and approvals.”
The Director of Information to the Wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna yesterday insisted that “Hajiya Aisha met and spent some time with the President. I even issued a statement on this.”
Haruna’s statement had read in part: “Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari returned from the UK, where she went to visit her husband, who is on medical leave.
“Mrs. Buhari, on arrival, conveyed the appreciation of the President to Nigerians over their constant prayers and said he will soon be with them as he is recuperating fast.
“Mrs. Buhari called on Nigerians to continue to be strong in the face of challenges and to support the Federal Government in implementing the agenda for which they were elected.”
‘Mr. President thanked the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his loyalty and called on Nigerians to continue to support the acting President in his effort to actualize the mandate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC),’ she said.
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