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OSINBAJO: Group backs Buhari, says office of vice president redundant

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A group, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy has said that the offices of the vice president and deputy governors of Nigeria are redundant going by the provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended.

The group stated this on Thursday in response to criticisms by Nigerians of President Muhammadu Buhari for replacing the Economic Management Team, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with Economic Advisory Council, that will be reporting directly to him.

Buhari had also instructed Osinbajo to seek approvals for agencies under his supervision, henceforth.

Afenifere, a Yoruba social-cultural group and many other Nigerians had kicked against the action of Buhari, describing it as targeted at making Osinbajo irrelevant in the current government.

But the Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy in a statement in Abuja by its National President, Igbini Emmanuel, argued that Buhari’s decision was neither unusual nor unconstitutional.

Noting that the President’s decision was not different from what some of his predecessors did, the group said “he has therefore not acted unconstitutionally and unusually.”

The statement read, “When, before now, he chose to delegate most of his constitutional powers to Vice-President Osinbajo, he was not condemned by Afenifere and others.

“What then is wrong when now he chose to take full charge and discharge his functions directly by himself to be held fully accountable by Nigerians?

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“We want to state without any equivocation or sentiments that by the provisions of 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, the Offices of the Vice President and Deputy Governors of Nigeria are redundant, ab initio, and only made slightly relevant by the benevolence of any President of Nigeria or governor of a state who chooses to and to what extent and duration he so chooses.

“This has been the case from May 29, 1999, with President Olusegun Obasanjo and many governors being benevolent to empower their deputies to an extent and for some duration before withdrawing such benevolence for reasons that are best known to them but which they did within their constitutional powers.”

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