Apparently burning in an unquenchable desire to speed up work from where he stopped, Buhari, who received briefings on the state of affairs so far in the country from his deputy, Vice President Osinbajo, issued some directives on areas pertaining to the nation’s economy, the 2017 budget and North East region, among other issues of national interest.
This was disclosed by Vice President Osinbajo after meeting behind closed doors with the president. The meeting which started at about 12:00pm yesterday lasted for over one hour.
Also, a terse statement by special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, noted yesterday that Buhari had already written to the leadership of the National Assembly, informing the legislature that he had resumed official duties.
“President Muhammadu Buhari today resumed duties after his vacation. In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President has formally transmitted letters to the Senate and the House of Representatives, intimating the National Assembly “that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, March 13, 2017, after my vacation”, Adesina stated.
Meanwhile, speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with the president yesterday, Osinbajo who noted that Buhari was “over ready” for work, having rested well over the weekend, said the president issued directives on certain issues bordering on governance, including the economy, the budget and the North East.
He said, “He (Buhari) is very well. We just had a very long meeting where we were basically trying to bring the president up to speed as to some of the things we have done while he was away and he has given a few directives on what we should be doing on so many areas: the North East, the budget, the economy and a wide range of issues.
“He held a meeting with me for over an hour where we discussed a wide range of issues. So, his readiness for work is not in doubt at all. In fact, he is over ready”.
Confirming that he was no longer acting as president, Osinbajo simply said, “Oh yes; I am back to my regular position as vice president”.
On whether Buhari was impressed with the way he handled the country while he was away, the vice president said Buhari was reasonably satisfied.
He dismissed insinuations suggesting that because of his health condition, Buhari may delegate a lot of duties to him as his deputy, saying the president had always given him several responsibilities, even as he pointed out that it had always been team work.
His words: “I think the president, as you know, has always given me several responsibilities. I think what we must recognise is that the way this administration works is that it has always been team work. Very little is done without the president’s clearance.
“So, generally speaking, even with responsibilities that are my constitutional responsibilities, we have full discussions on them; we have full agreements on all of those issues. It is necessarily delegation- yes, in some cases delegation. But by and large, practically everything I discuss fully with him and have his endorsement before we are able to go on and do anything at all”.
President Buhari arrived the country last Friday after spending 49 days in the United Kingdom for his annual vacation.
Why President Picked Osinbajo To Lead Talks On Resolving Niger Delta Crisis -Boroh.
Meanwhile, the special adviser to the president on Niger Delta and coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme, Brig. Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari personally picked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as leader of federal government’s fact-finding delegation to the crisis-ridden Niger Delta region.
According to Boroh, Buhari’s choice of Osinbajo was informed by federal government’s strategic plan to engender peace in the region.
The presidential aide who made this disclosure in Abuja yesterday said that the positive impact of the vice president’s visit to the Niger Delta region “are already being felt in the country, as Osinbajo’s hands-on approach reassures the people of government’s commitment”.
Boroh also disclosed that efforts were being made to pay beneficiaries of the Amnesty programme studying abroad and whose fates are hanging in the balance due to inability to meet their financial obligations in the various countries.
Explaining that the Amnesty Office would have to offset a lot of liabilities when funds allocated to it are eventually released, he however said priority would be given to the foreign beneficiaries, especially those who would soon be graduating.
On the visit to the region by the Osinbajo-led delegation, Boroh said, “It will meet the president’s expectations of not only building confidence among the people on government’s intentions, but will also be a fact-finding mission that would pave way for a workable and lasting solution.
“President Muhammadu Buhari knew what he was doing when he directed the vice president to head the delegation. You need to see him in action as we visited different communities in the oil-producing states. There is no doubt that the President knows that peace in the Niger Delta region is crucial to the development of the entire country.
“The visit of the acting President to the Niger Delta is in phases to cover all Niger Delta states. We have so far visited Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Imo States. The next phase will be Cross River, Abia and Ondo States. By that we would have covered the entire Niger Delta states.
“This visit is in two folds. It is both a confidence-building and a fact-finding mission because a lot of information has been heard about the Niger Delta but no single person can claim to know all about the Niger Delta. It requires the common effort by all towards ensuring the issues of the Niger Delta is resolved. The information will be collated and we will sit back and resolve on how best to tackle the information we get, for the immediate, short and long term”.