A cabal loyal to Nigeria’s ailing President Muhammadu Buhari has prevented Acting President Yemi Osinbajo from swearing-in the two ministers who were recently confirmed by the Senate, The Trent can report.
Two weeks after their confirmation by the Senate, the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, again on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 did not inaugurate the two ministers at the commencement of the weekly federal cabinet meeting.
On May 3, 2017, the Nigerian Senate confirmed the new ministers, Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe).
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The slots of Kogi and Gombe States in the federal cabinet had been vacant following the death of Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), the minister of state for labour, in an accident on March 6, 2016; and the appointment of erstwhile environment minister Ms. Amina Mohammed, as the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations.
Nigerians had awaited news of the administration of oath of office on the new ministers by Acting President Osinbajo, but for the second week in a row, Osinbajo would not swear-in the ministers.
Informed sources about the development told The Trent that Osinbajo “would dare not swear-in the ministers after receiving threats from the pro-Buhari cabal who see that singular act as an executive overstep by the vice president whose actual position is considered to be a “mere national co-ordinator , instead of an acting president.
“It’s a serious issue. The cabal in Aso Rock has prevented Osinbajo from carrying out his full role as Acting President. This is the second time in two weeks that he would fail to perform that executive role in the swearing-in of the new ministers. This is a role reserved for a sitting President or Acting President but Osinbajo has been warned to refrain from swearing-in the ministers as it would amount to usurping the powers of his boss President Buhari”, a source in the presidency told The Trent on the condition of anonymity.
Recall that news had filtered into the Nigerian media last week about how Osinbajos’ security detail was unceremoniously changed a few days before the president left for an indefinite medical leave to London. According to sources all the Yorubas guarding the vice president were replaced with Northerners.
With Buhari’s worsening health and his exit from the country to an indefinite sick leave, observers say the situation in Aso Rock has assumed a worrisome dimension with intense politicking gradually taking over the affairs of real governance.
Presidential spokespersons Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande did not take their calls when contacted by The Trent for comments.