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Confusion As Buhari Addresses Osinbajo As ‘Coordinator Of Government’

Senate on Tuesday averted constitutional crisis as President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter of vacation failed to address Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo while Mr. President is on medical trip.

The letter submitted to Senate only said that Osinbajo would coordinate the activities of government while Buhari is on medical trip in United Kingdom.

Buhari said in the letter,” 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. Pls accept, the distinguished senate president, the assurances of my highest consideration.‎”

Confused by the content of the letter, Senator Mao ‎‎Ohuabunwa raised point of order saying that there is no provision for coordinating Vice President in the Constitution but Acting President.

Therefore, the letter from the Presidency on Buhari’s vacation‎ is ambiguous and not explicit enough .

But senate leader‎, Ahmad Lawan in his own contribution 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 that 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 it’s not an issue. 

“We have the budget and so many other serious issues for us to discuss and Nigerians are waiting.”

In Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s ruling, he said,

“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.‎”

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