Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last night in Abuja deplored a report by an online medium which insinuated that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed him to henceforth seek approvals for agencies under him because they were violating due process.
An online medium had in a report alleged that agencies under the supervision of the vice-president always jettisoned presidential approvals wherever required.
But statement by the vice-president’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, described the report as not only misleading but also aimed at planting “seeds of discord in the presidency, while attempting to create unnecessary national hysteria.”
According to the statement, the agencies were established by laws and Osinbajo had always insisted on compliance with such laws, explaining that there are instances when some agencies might require only the approvals of their managements or governing boards’ approvals, arguing that in few cases where presidential approvals are required, he always insisted that they must be sought.
Akande described as mischievous and reprehensible an alleged deliberate attempt by the report to accuse the vice-president of irregularities, noting that it is common knowledge that both Buhari and Osinbajo have mutual respect for each other.
“The agencies in question are established by law and the Vice President has always insisted on due compliance with the enabling statutes and other established regulations.
“Depending on the particular scope of activity in question, agencies may require management approval only, at the level of the Director-General or Chief Executive Officer. In this category falls the great majority of their day-to-day activities.
“However, other activities, or procurements, with value exceeding a certain threshold, require Board approval. These may get to the agency board chaired by the Vice President.
“In a few cases where Presidential approval is required, the Director-General must seek such approval from the president, through the vice-president. These rules have always guided the activities of statutory agencies and the ones under the vice president’s supervision have always been so guided.
“To claim that in the first term of the Buhari administration, agencies of government have not been complying with the provisions (of getting final approvals from the President) is false, and the attempt to suggest the vice-president complicity in such irregularities is simply mischievous and reprehensible.
“The effective and mutually respecting relationship between the President and the vice-president is well known to Nigerians and it is futile to insinuate otherwise,” the statement said.