By Nimi Princewill.
Speculations are brewing as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s influence in the Presidency is reportedly being watered down by a widely believed presidential cabal.
In furtherance of the cabal’s 2023 ambition, critical measures have allegedly been taken to render Prof. Osinbajo politically redundant having envisaged his enormous influence in the Southern part of the country.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, replaced the Economic Management Team, EMT, which was chaired by the Vice President with the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council, EAC, which would report directly to the President.
The unprecedented move by the President has been the subject of debate, as many Nigerians queried why the EMT which comprises the Vice President and ministers was being replaced with a private sector Advisory Council.
The infamous cabal was also touted as the backdrop initiators of the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Disaster Management and Social Development, albeit to take some weight off the Vice President’s brief.
Rumors are rife that both ministries will now oversee the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which are being handled by Osinbajo.
While the Vice President was yet to shake off Monday’s directive to jettison his Economic Management Team, latest reports emerging from the Presidency directing him to henceforth, seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision has added to his woes.
Prof. Osinbajo presently chairs the governing boards of the following agencies:
1. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),
2. National Boundary Commission (NBC)
3. Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA)
4. Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
The Cable reports that although, President Buhari reserves the sole right to give final approvals according to the laws governing the above-mentioned agencies, the Vice President ran the show during the President’s first term.
Sequel to the new directive which enforces adherence to due process as contained in a presidential memo issued yesterday, Osinbajo is now compelled to seek approvals before carrying out key functions in the agencies.
The underbelly of the recent moves by the Presidency gives flesh to hearsays, which fingers the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and a few bigwigs from the South West region in a plot to hijack the reins of power in 2023.
Hence, it becomes increasingly difficult to cast aside the gossip which suggests that the Vice President by the estimation of the alleged cabal, do not fit into their plans and early search for President Buhari’s successor.
And with the North in subtle pursuit of the 2023 presidency, clipping the Vice President’s virile wings gives them a good shot at it.