Monday, March 14, 2016

Osinbajo Aborts Indian Trip , but Not For Fear Of Saraki's Take Over

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President
Vice President  Yemi Osinbajo has dismissed insinuation that he aborted a planned official trip to India because of the need to prevent Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, from assuming the acting presidency of the country.

Reports had suggested that Saraki would have to act as president for a few days, in line with the provision of the constitution, since both President Muhammadu Buhari, billed to travel to Equatorial Guinea today and the vice-president would have been out of the country simultaneously.

The report also alleged that Osinbajo’s advance team had already been dispatched to India before State House protocol realised that that there had been a clash in the foreign trips that the president and vice-president were scheduled to undertake.

It also alleged that over $250,000 had already been expended on the aborted trip.

The Presidency has, therefore, rubbished the speculation, as it told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, on Sunday, that the report, which appeared in some online publications, was meant to cause confusion.

Giving the position on phone, the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said the report was baseless.

He said even if the president was not in the country, he continues to perform his functions unless he is on vacation and, therefore, the question of saying the vice-president aborted his trip to stop the Senate President from acting did not arise.

“If the president were to be abroad, he is still the president except he is on vacation or indisposed, or for some reasons he is unable to perform his responsibilities,” said.

The presidential aide said the speculation are “wide speculation that adds no good to public information, but just confusing everybody. But I think Nigerians know better.”

He also said the money said to have been spent on the journey was mere speculation, as a Federal Government delegation had been invited to the meeting and would still be in attendance.

“Nigeria has been invited to the Indian/African summit and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment will be leading a delegation to the event.

“There is nothing like cancellation. Remember that the visit of the vice-president to any country is not treated in secrecy.

“Whenever the vice-president is to travel out of the country, we inform Nigerians. So, this story in question is a bunch of speculation. There is no cancellation.”

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