Presidency alleges plot to divide Buhari, Osinbajo

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

• Cautions against social media reports

The presidency yesterday raised the alarm over an alleged plot to cause a division between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It said that the government would not allow those it described as mischief makers to have their way. “Some people are trying to promote division and we are not going to allow that. This president and vice president worked together in tandem and we know they both have confidence in this nation,” the presidency said.

Reacting to trending discussions in the polity with some Nigerians comparing ‎Buhari and Osinbajo, Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Babafemi Ojodu said the development was the handiwork of those who do not wish the country well.

“It is thoughtless. I also see it as a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary ‎division. It is a joint ticket, the president and the vice president were elected based on the manifesto of the party and since they were sworn in, they have been committed to implementing that manifesto.

“The same people who said we never had an economic team, no policy, nothing are the ones saying this. It is the policies we are now implementing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.

“There is nothing that has been done since the vice president started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. “A good example is the Niger Delta initiative. The president called the vice president and said I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta, meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefit of Nigerians.

“We are losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the president has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession. The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta, it is the initiative of the president not that of the vice president,” Ojodu said.

According to the presidential aide, these “mischief makers” were responsible for the crisis in the polity and promotion of divisive tendencies, a development that would deny Nigerians the opportunity to benefit from the dividends of democracy.

Ojodu said Osinbajo “consults the president on a daily basis” concerning major decisions. “This is a joint ticket, the president of Nigeria remains the president of Nigeria. He is more experienced, he has been in the game longer than the vice president and if there are major issues that he needs to take decision on, he could call on him and say ‘sir, what do you think about this, we are about to take a decision on it’, that does not mean he is not in charge.”

Some of the changes that have taken place since Osinbajo became the acting president include a rapid return of peace to the Niger Delta due to his visits and parleys in the region. These visits have seen to the cessation of hostilities, thereby paving the way for the availability of gas that has improved electricity supply. Under Osinbajo, the foreign exchange crisis is being tackled with the naira appreciating from N520 to about N420 to a dollar yesterday. Unlike Buhari who neither commented nor took a decisive action to rein in killer herdsmen, Osinbajo quickly summoned the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris when there were fresh killings in southern Kaduna.

On timing of the changes taking place, when the president is on an extended vacation in the United Kingdom (UK), the ‎aide said: “One other thing you have to see is that if you give someone a responsibility, he must be able to show to the president that his not being around is not going to create any vacuum.

“He can then decide not to sleep at all, all through the time the president is away just to show him that he is capable of ensuring that Nigeria goes on well while the president is away. And the president could also have given the mandate that the vice president should let nothing go wrong. You must make sure that you do this. If you have a boss who gives you an assignment, you will want to impress him and Nigerians as well and that for me is what has happened. ‎It is not that one person is better than the other, certainly not.”

Ojodu said he had seen some things sent out intentionally to cause some kind of division within the presidency. “Some people who have been condemning everybody in the past, I see them on twitter and on facebook and generally on social media.”

Reacting to clerics in Katsina allegedly propagating information on the president being poisoned, Ojodu urged reporters to be mindful of their choice of stories from the social media, as the channels, according to him, are becoming factory for fake news in Nigeria.

“A lot of things you see on social media can never be true. I saw them, I read them and I assessed them using the prism of these factors, those indices we use to analyse stories in the media and found out that they cannot be true.

“For example they said somebody kept N77 trillion somewhere, imagine that. What is the total value of Nigeria’s economy? Because somebody is keeping N77 trillion, some people want to poison him so that they can inherit the money. I mean we have a president whose integrity nobody in this country can question.”

According to Ojodu, “as a young officer, a middle officer, a senior officer and as a head of state till now, nobody has been able to tarnish Buhari’s image or come up with anything. For me, it is not even worth responding to, as soon as I read it, I dismissed it, it is so ridiculous.”

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  • Four

    What does it mean to be “Acting President”? Does it entail making decisions on the go? Sometimes my boss leaves me acting on his behalf, and I take decisions using my initiative without consulting him!
    If the VP is following the APC Manifesto, then how comes positive things happen whenever he is the one on the helm?
    No two men are equal in foresight, intelligence, drive and temperament. The way Osinbajo will handle a situation can never be the same way Buhari will handle it, so STOP whining and saying we shouldn’t laud Osinbajo. He is doing a good job, and we MUST applaud him!! If Buhari comes back, and does a good job, who will stop us from saying kudos to him?
    Atta Boy my Osinbajo… Keep on solving our problems!!!

  • Aristotle

    This Ojodu man is the very definition of incoherent. You mean the president and VP are equal in performance yet by your own insinuation one maybe working day and night to solve our problems while one is enjoying an extended vacation abroad and keeping mum while his murderous fulani herdsmen brothers run amok? What a waste of a human being! With advisers like these, no wonder the president is fumbling about hopelessly. Your boss should be advised to stop insulting Nigerians with his silence and address the people he purports to rule. After all he was advocating for the Senate to impeach Yaradua when he was sick and incommunicado as well. Now suddenly he wants us to be understanding of his plight?

  • Deen Ola

    Note that every action of VP is accordance with president order, Osinbajo is man of God that will never do anything without consulting is boss. ride on VP. During buhari / Idiagbon regime they say all this stuff but when the bad side come the point to buhari . Niger poeple stop bad belle politics don’t divide honorable me in discharging their duty. Go after people who stole your money and still enjoy the best front of you and leave Buhari/Osinbajo alone.

  • Olajide Kolawole

    The vp and the president r working together, SO we should be praying for both of them, pray for positive change in this country. GOD bless Nigeria

    • Deji Fadina

      Only one person can benefit from such division and it is SARAKI, the master conspirator and knife-in-the-back ally

  • Christopher Adodo

    The divide and rule mentality the
    British introduced to Nigeria, is pretty much responsible for the under development of the country, and it’s people.
    Mr, Buhari, is the arrow head of this administration. And only a good manager that can assembled good hands to realize his agendas.
    Therefore, credit should go to Buhari first before his Vice President.
    However, it’s not very impressive that the Nigeria currency exchange rates against the dollar is 420 Naira to 1 dollars.
    So, there is a bit of propaganda and spins associated to the Vice President purported performance.

  • Damilola

    God is his infinite mercy should continue to hold d cow back where ever he is presently. That’s my own. Only insane man would compare Osibanjo quality and integrity to dt of baba Bubu. The records and certificates are there. How can a man who failed to take a single right step since assumption of office direct anoda person to do such in just few weeks? Yeye de smell. Integrity my yash