UK, US Confident of Osinbajo’s Ability to Fight Corruption in Buhari’s Absence
As the dust settles on the controversy somewhat generated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to the National Assembly concerning his trip, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) have both expressed their confidence in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s ability to hold the fort.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa had expressed reservations about the expression “coordinate the affairs of government” as contained in President Buhari’s letter which failed to name Osinbajo as acting president.
The senator was however ruled out of order by Senate President Bukola Saraki after senate leader, Ahmed Lawan pointed out that the letter was written in compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which provided that the vice-president would serve as acting president in the president’s absence.
In the letter informing the senate of his current trip, the president said the duration of his stay would be determined based on the advice of his doctors.
Government sources also recently advised the public not to expect updates on Buhari’s health.
This weekend, both the US and the UK expressed confidence in Osinbajo’s ability to continue to lead the fight against corruption in Buhari’s absence as well as intensify economic recovery efforts.
Spokesman for the US Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, said President Donald Trump’s administration believed in Buhari and Osinbajo.
“We are very much in favour of President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s campaign against corruption. We also believe that Acting President (Yemi) Osinbajo is strongly committed to this agenda and will continue to pursue it while President Buhari is out of the country,” Brooks said.
Concerning Buhari’s return to the UK to continue his medical treatment, Brooks stated that the US looked forward to the president’s return to “his homeland.”
Similarly, spokesman for the UK High Commission in Nigeria, Joseph Abuku, stated that, while the British Government could not comment on whether any crisis resulting from Buhari’s protracted ill-health would lead Nigeria into political instability, he said the UK had confidence in the President and his deputy.
“The Vice President is acting President in President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s absence. The United Kingdom has full confidence in both he (Osinbajo) and President Buhari. Questions on President Buhari’s health should be directed to his office,” Abuku told the Punch.
President Buhari is out of the country for a follow-up medical treatment. He had upon his return from the last medical trip to the UK stated that he would be returning for follow-up treatment. He was away for 49 days at the time.
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