The Minister of Interior General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau [retd] has openly switched allegiance from the ailing President Muhammadu Buhari to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Dambazau, a retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant General and Interior current Minister, made the switch at the opening ceremony of the National Security Summit 2017.
The Zaria-born General made the dramatic revelation as to who he now works for especially as the controversy surrounding the new position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo since President Buhari handed over powers to him directing him to “coordinate affairs of government”.
Although many Nigerians raised their concerns over this strange title as they sought to know if our constitution recognises the position of a “Coordinating Vice President” in place of an Acting President.
However, the Minister of Interior made a startling revelation that he now represents Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and not President Buhari who is receiving medical attention abroad.
This clarification was in response to the Master of Ceremony addressing him as the representative of President Muhammed Buhari at the National Security Summit which played host to eminent Nigerians from different walks of life.
This reaction from the Interior Minister may not be unconnected to the controversial interpretation to the ‘Coordinator’ Clause In Buhari’s Letter To National Assembly which has recently heated the polity as to why the Vice President was not addressed in the same manner as he was during Mr. President’s first medical trip, as Nigerians continue to ponder who must have been behind this new phrase?
Reports reaching us this morning as unravelled by Sahara Reporters reveals that several high-ranking sources at the Presidency confirmed to SaharaReporters that the decision to use the phrase, “the Vice President will coordinate the activities of the Government,” instead of expressing what the Constitution stipulates, that the Vice President becomes “Acting President” with the transmission of the letter, was singularly taken by Mr. Kyari.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, has been named as the architect of the president’s controversial letter to the National Assembly informing legislators that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was to be the “coordinator” of government activities during Mr. Buhari’s latest trip to Britain to undergo urgent medical care.
The phrasing of the letter, a departure from President Buhari’s previous ones where Mr. Osinbajo was explicitly named “Acting President,” has generated widespread discussion and a measure of political tension within Nigeria.
It should be noted that with the constitutional transfer of powers to the Ag. President Osinbajo it now leaves the likes of Abba Kyari – who had continued to wield unlimited influence using the name and office of the President to carry out unauthorised actions – humbled within the Presidency, a situation insiders claim could present a dilemma for staunch cabinet loyalists of President Buhari who have no option now but to take orders from Ag. President Osinbajo.
Several high-ranking sources at the Presidency confirmed to SaharaReporters that the decision to use the phrase, “the Vice President will coordinate the activities of the Government,” instead of expressing what the Constitution stipulates, that the Vice President becomes “Acting President” with the transmission of the letter, was singularly taken by Mr. Kyari.
One source according to Sahara Reporters, said he was unclear why Mr. Kyari orchestrated the change of the second paragraph of the President’s letter to the National Assembly, but the second source said the Chief of Staff had always seen some influential members of the Buhari administration, including the Vice President and some ministers, as countervailing forces against him, and wanted to phrase the letter to the National Assembly in a way that degraded the VP’s powers to act fully during Mr. Buhari’s absence.
Sahara Reporters’ sources disclosed that Mr. Kyari’s desire to isolate and control Mr. Buhari often created political problems for the President, with many critics believing that he approved some of the bizarre moves made by former.
One of our sources said Mr. Kyari ’s main goal in using the “coordinator” tag in the President’s letter to the National Assembly was to retain considerable power and influence around his office and person even when the President is not around.
“He was so furious in January when the President was away for 50 days because all the Ministers whose access to Mr. President he had tried to curtail started getting approvals and access with the Acting President very promptly,” one source revealed.
According to the source, Mr. Kyari was also riled by President Buhari’s public comments commending Vice President Osinbajo for the way he ran the country during the president’s prolonged medical stay in the UK.
Several critics of Mr. Kyari’s within the administration have often accused him of believing himself the real deputy to President Buhari.
“But all he has managed to do is just staining the otherwise unassailable personal integrity of the President,” said one critic.
However in a sharp contrast to Kyari’s expectations that President Buhari’s Ministers would remain loyal to him in the absence of the president, Dambazzau dropped the bombshell of his new allegiance to Ag. President Osinbajo.
This revelation coming from the revered Interior Minister who has the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, The Immigration, Fire Service under his ministry’s supervision could have used that platform to send an important message across, which will be adequately noted by the Police Chief and others as to who is now in charge.
The Minister of Interior further stated that the federal government has prioritised this security summit as a way of addressing several of the security challenges that have negatively impacted on the nations economy as incessant Herdsmen farmers clashes, kidnapping, cattle rustling, insurgency continue to slow the growth of the economy.
Top on the list is how insecurity has affected socio-economic development as the issues of rampaging herdsmen tops the list.
Kidnapping, proliferation of light arms and weapons, food security etc are several issues to be looked into during this summit.
He also said that this summit is also going to look into how to get the communities in collaboration with the police and other security agencies can prevent and curb these various criminal activities.
The event ended with a spectacular display of different police activities such as the K9 unit, the counter terrorism unit, anti-bomb unit, the air component and many more.