Paper review: Buhari under attack for saying Osinbajo will co-ordinate activities of govt in his absence

Paper review: Buhari under attack for saying Osinbajo will co-ordinate activities of govt in his absence

- The Senate has declared that Professor Yemi Osinbajo should function as Acting President pending the return of President Muhammadu Buhari

- The decision came after the drama in NASS over wording of the letter President Buhari sent to the Senate on his medical vacation

- Buhari, in his letter to the Senate, said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo “will co-ordinate the activities of the government”

The Newspaper headlines on Wednesday, May 10, have focused on how passage of 2017 budget and cabinet reshuffle delayed President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to United Kingdom, uproar in the polity over wording of the letter the president sent to the Senate on his medical vacation, amongst other top stories.

According to a report on Vanguard, there was uproar yesterday, May 9, over the choice of words in the letter President Muhammadu Buhari sent to the Senate on his medical vacation, in which the he (Buhari) said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo “will co-ordinate the activities of the government”

Newspaper Headlines on Vanguard

Newspaper Headlines on Vanguard

The Senate’s action followed a protest on the floor by Senator Mao Ohuanbunwa (PDP, Abia North) against what he called suspicious ambiguity in the contents of the president’s letter.

Buhari’s letter which was read to the Senate by Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki upon the commencement of the chamber’s session yesterday reads: “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.”

But Section 145 of the constitution 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 or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the vice president as acting president.”

The Guardian reports that Ohuanbunwa had drawn attention of his colleagues to the danger in the president’s letter particularly in the suggestion that Osinbajo could not act as president in his absence and could only coordinate as vice president.

Newspaper Headlines on The Guardian

Newspaper Headlines on The Guardian

READ ALSO: See the copy of letter President Buhari sent to the Senate before going to UK

The lawmaker said: “I don’t think in our constitution we have anything like coordinating president or coordinating vice president. It is either you are vice president or you are acting president and any letter should be unambiguous and very clear. So, I am saying that this letter really does not convey anything because coordinating has no space or any place in our constitution. We have been having letters like this, you tell us who is the acting president and we know who to deal with as a Senate. This is the highest legislative body of any country and if you are sending us a letter it should be direct, unambiguous. So, I am saying that this letter for me is not right and maybe should be sent back.”

But in a swift response, the Senate majority leader, Ahmed Lawan said that whatever messages were contained in the president’s letter that were in conflict with the provisions of the constitution would be ignored by the Senate, The Nation reports.

Newspaper Headlines on The Nation

Newspaper Headlines on The Nation

He said that “Àny other word in this letter or indeed anywhere else is irrelevant.”

Ruling on the matter, Saraki said: “I think it is a very clear issue and what we should be guided by is the constitution and I think that it is clear.”

Meanwhile, a report on This Day has shown that President Muhammadu Buhari might have delayed his trip to the United Kingdom due to his desire to reshuffle his cabinet and sign the 2017 budget into law.

A presidency source told the newspaper on Tuesday, May 9, that the president knew his trip to the UK to cater to his health was long overdue, but was determined to resolve these two critical matters on his table before leaving.

Newspaper Headlines on This Day

Newspaper Headlines on This Day

READ ALSO: Top 10 states with the highest number of JAMB candidates

Moving away from Buhari’s letter to the Senate, leaders of Chibok community, under the aegis of Kibaku Area Development Association, have faulted a negotiator, Zannah Mustapha, for saying that some abducted schoolgirls refused to be part of a group of 82 girls freed at the weekend, The Punch reports.

The Chairman, Chibok Community in Abuja, Hosea Tsambido, told reporters in Abuja, on Tuesday, May 9, that the attitude of the federal government was not only suspicious, but was at variance with how the government handled the rescue of the 21 schoolgirls in October last year.

Newspaper Headlines on The Punch

Newspaper Headlines on The Punch

Tsambido said the community would never accept such a claim because the government could use it as an excuse to give up on the rescue of the other girls.

He added: “The most disheartening and annoying thing is the statement credited to one of the negotiators who said some of the girls refused to come out. We don’t want to hear that, even if the girls don’t want to come out, it is not for him to advertise.

“The girls must come out, whether they like it or not; they should force them out, just as they were forced in, they should be forced out. As their mind was changed by Boko Haram, when they return to us, we will change their mind back.”

In the world of sports, Chelsea star Victor Moses and the country’s top stars based in China led by skipper Mikel Obi will be available for selection for next month’s AFCON qualifier against South Africa, Complete Sports reports.

This was disclosed by the Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye.

Newspaper Headlines on Complete Sports

Newspaper Headlines on Complete Sports

The Eagles official expressed confidence the team will get off to a winning start against South Africa on June 10 in Uyo.

Libya and Seychelles are the other teams in Nigeria’s qualifying section for Cameroon 2019.

Catch these stories and many more on the pages of your favourite newspapers today, May 10.

Recently, NAIJ.com took to the streets of Lagos to ask Nigerians if President Buhari has truly taken the country out of recession. Here are their reactions

Source: Naij.com

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