Contrary to reports that the visit of the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to London, the United Kingdom, last Tuesday was to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation, findings by Saturday Telegraph have revealed that Osinbajo was actually compelled by the leadership of the National Assembly (NASS) to take the trip and ascertain the health status of the ailing president.
Fresh facts gathered by our correspondents showed that the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, had at a recent fence-mending meeting with Osinbajo conveyed a resolution of the NASS leadership in which they had requested that the Acting President must visit London and update them on happenings concerning Buhari if the ex-ecutive did not want to incur the wrath of the lawmakers.
The recent face-off between both arms of government had led to the stance of the lawmakers, forcing a late night meeting between the two topmost personalities in the country.
Saraki had met with Osinbajo on July 6 after the Senate began a face-off with the executive, stopping the confirmation of all nominees over a statement credited to the Acting President, in which he had said that the lawmakers did not have powers to confirm nominees other than ministerial and ambassadorial candidates.
Impeccable sources within the corridors of power informed that, Saraki, at the meeting, handed down the threat-like message to Osinbajo, giving him an ultimatum, within which he must report back to the nation.
“It was the Senate President that forced him to go to London. Osinbajo did not have the plan to travel until the time he met Saraki, who gave him the resolution of his colleagues. When queried on whether the Senate President could actually wield such powers of threat against the Acting President, the source insisted that that was what happened and that Osinbajo had been wary of his actions and utterances since the renewed face-off with the Senate and House of Representatives began.
“If you noticed, the Acting President has been very careful with them now. He had to obey their wish and gave them what they want for peace to reign”, he said. The sources further revealed that Saraki had told Osinbajo that Senators and members of the House of Representatives were not happy and were ready to invoke the required sections of the constitution that give them power to declare the president incapacitated.
“They were threatening to force the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to do the needful. They also wanted to use the Doctrine of Necessity, but Osinbajo is a wise man. He did not contest it with them, he went to UK and used the opportunity to see for himself the actual state of the president’ health.”
However, in response to our enquiries on the matter, the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Print Media, Mr. Chuks Okocha, denied knowledge of the event, saying that nothing could be farther from the truth. Olivia who spoke with our correspondent on the phone said:
”It is a bloody lie” and his phone went off thereafter. All attempts to get him to make further comments on the issue did not produce positive results as his line became permanently busy and rejected further calls.
Similarly, Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Laolu Akande, declined comment on the issue. Akande, who initially picked the call put across to him, said the network at his end was not clear and requested that our inquiry should be channelled to him via a social media platform, WhatsApp.
However, when the message was sent to his medium, Akande gave no further response. Also, a top government functionary who preferred anonymity told Saturday Telegraph in confidence that the whole story of Osinbajo travelling to London under pressure from Saraki was untrue.”Those who are even fabricating such rumours are not being fair to either Osinbajo or Saraki.
The Acting President is in charge of the government in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari and I don’t see how someone else, no matter how highly placed, will force him to go and see his boss who is sick and receiving medical attention in London.
"Let us give our leaders some respect when we say these things because they don’t just add up at all,” he said. Meanwhile, a former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, had on Thursday said Osinbajo’s visit to Buhari in London, had shown that the rumour peddlers were liars.
The former governor, who said that everything possible should be done to reduce increasing hate speeches and `death wish’ in the country urged Nigerians to pray for Buhari’s quick recovery. Kalu said that those peddling rumours that Buhari is on life support had been proven wrong.
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