The All Progressives Congress (APC) Wednesday described as absurd the alleged conspiracy in the presidency against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo through the whittling down of his roles in the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement, said the speculations started after the dissolution of an Economic Management Team (EMT), which was chaired by Osinabjo, and the setting up of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to report directly to the President.
He noted that constitutionally, while the power of the Vice President is derived from the President, critics ignore Section 141 of the Constitution, which spells out the Vice President’s statutory membership in the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, Federal Executive Council, and the Chairman of National Economic Council.
“Then, sponsored hogwash reports emanated that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) gave the Vice President N90billion for the 2019 election, a rejected and disgraceful template of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which saw the party deploy public and counter insurgency funds to finance their political activities during their failed 16-year rule of the country”, Issa-Onilu said.
Also, in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, President Buhari said the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs), which was previously under the Office of the Vice-President, would now be under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Defending this, Issa-Onilu said conspirators were desperately trying to link government decisions on the N-SIPs to support the conspiracies, however mundane.
“In the same October 1 address, the President announced the recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). Was this also to ‘whittle down’ the powers of the OSGF?
“In our respective and collective efforts to support the development of our country, we cannot afford to fall into the superficial in assessing actions of government.
The APC spokesman accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind such reports, saying that “a question we should ask the conspirators and their partisan sponsors is how did they miss the import of the President’s decision to create a whole ministry to superintend the social investment programmes and humanitarian issues?
“We can understand PDP’s incurable shortsightedness and its leaders’ disdain for the good of the ordinary Nigerians, but we urge a more rigorous and educated critic of government actions from those who have taken on the noble responsibility of reviewing public policies,” he said.
“This is a duty Nigerians expect of the media and the critics.
“Recently, the media has been awashed with an absurd conspiracy of an imagined rift in the presidency, which according to conspirators led to the alleged ‘whittling down’ of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s roles in the administration.
“This happens to be one of the many fake news flying around in recent days. President Muhammadu Buhari announced plans to upgrade the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs) to a full fledged ministry status with the take-off of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“The conspirators are desperately trying to link government decisions on the N-SIPs, which have been under the office of the Vice President since it started in 2016 to support the conspiracies, however mundane.
“In the same October 1 address, the President announced the recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). Was this also to ‘whittle down’ the powers of the OSGF?”, Issa-Onilu said.
Issa-Onilu said those claiming that there was a rift in the presidency had failed to see commendable efforts of the current government.