Buhari/Osinbajo: Between Loyalty and Power
Nigeria News examine the price of being loyal in the seat of power, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo as a good example.
While he was being questioned by the senate before his confirmation as a minister, the former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola used a language that abruptly stopped the lawmakers from further probing him about his relationship with his former boss, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
When asked if he is still loyal to his former boss, Fashola said, “May our loyalty never be tested.”
Fashola’s loyalty to his predecessor and benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had been put to test several times, yet the minister had always claimed to be loyal.
Recently, Fashola has been far away from Lagos politics just because he does not want the question of loyalty to arise between him and Tinubu anymore.
He is being described as the new Ladoke Akintola who became the Premier of the old Western Region but betrayed his predecessor and leader of opposition Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Both premiers are dead but history about their politics and interest is laced with betrayer, hatred and envy.
The hostility between these sets of leaders from findings were mostly aggravated by their followers who sought relevance and of course other political parties who looked for loopholes to win election.
This is playing out at present between President Muhamadu Buhari and the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo whose role is being challenged by some government officials since the indisposition of the president.
Buhari has done the necessary by transferring power to his vice before jetting out to London for medicals. According to senior lawyers, the president has not breached the constitution even though he has spent about 100 days abroad treating an undisclosed ailment.
Osinbajo has been holding the forth since Buhari’s absence but he’s been challenged by some cabals in the executive who had connived with the senate to frustrate him.
Twice the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had kicked against the decision of presidency over the action of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
Osinbajo had said loudly that in as much as he remains as the Acting president and Buhari remains as president, Magu will remain the EFCC boss.
The senate does not want Magu and judging by the body language of Malami, the minister will not mind to sacrifice Magu for some of his friend lawmakers.
It is obvious that Osinbajo’s loyalty to Buhari is intact and that is why he will always like to call him to clarify some issues before taking a decision.
Recalled that Osinbajo had to quickly travel abroad last month to see Buhari, which many described as one of the journeys for cabinet reshuffle.
That Osinbajo cannot reshuffle the cabinet and has no power to assign portfolios to two new ministers, even though he is the acting president.
He was described as a figurehead by the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dayo Adeyeye. Osinbajo’s loyalty is being put to test not only by the opposition party but most time by the people who surround him.
On Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari o Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu revealed that a government official once travelled to the United Kingdom with some documents for Buhari to attend to but the president turned him back.
He said that Buhari ordered the man to go back to Abuja and meet the acting president who is in position to do the job. The official would have been punished but he was pardoned and asked to sin no more.
Shehu stated that Buhari would not condone such behaviour, having transferred power to Osinbajo.
It was reported that Osinbajo would not assign portfolios to the new minister but on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council, the acting president assigned Stephen Ocheni from Kogi State as the Minister of State for Labour.
He also assigned Suleiman Hassan from Gombe as the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing. This he did without consulting Buhari as being speculated in some quarters.