I’m back at work —Buhari
ABUJA-PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, returned to his desk, saying he has resumed duties as the President of Nigeria.
To clear constitutional hurdles, he wrote to formally notify the National Assembly as required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Prseident Muhammadu Buhari resumes on Monday
Thereafter, he took briefings from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who had been standing in for him since January 19 when he travelled to London, United Kingdom, for medical vacation.
An elated Osinbajo, after the briefing, told journalists that President Buhari, who returned from London, last Friday, was ‘’over ready’’ to resume duties.
A brief statement by President Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, read: “President Muhammadu Buhari, today (yesterday), 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.”
As was expected, Vice President Osinbajo and some Presidential aides went to the President’s office to take briefs.
The aides included the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, and the Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters (Senate), Ita Enang.
Osinbajo briefs Buhari, says President now in-charge
Vice President Osinbajo, after relinquishing power formally to President Buhari, said the president was now fully in charge of the affairs of the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents on his way from the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Osinbajo said the president was in high spirits for work.
According to the Vice President, the meeting which lasted for about an hour was meant to bring the president up-to-speed on recent happenings.
The brief interview went thus:
How is the President doing?
He is very well. We just had a very long meeting. We are, 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, budget, the economy, a wide range of issues.
So would you say he is ready for work?
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.
Have you handed over to him?
Oh yes! I’m back to my regular position as vice president.
Was he impressed with the way you handled the country while he was away?
I think the President was reasonably satisfied.
Some are saying because of his health we will see a lot of delegation of duty is that true?
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 a team work. Very little is done without the president’s clearance.
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 not 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.
Saraki, Dogara receive Buhari’s resumption letter
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, will today read to his colleagues at plenary, the letter from President Buhari to the Senate, intimating the lawmakers that he had resumed.
The letter dated March 13 and addressed to the Senate President, indicated that President Buhari resumed, yesterday, after his vacation.
The letter, titled: “Resumption of Office,” which President Buhari signed personally, read in full: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), I write to intimate the Senate 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. Please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, declined to speak on the President’s resumption letter to the Senate President.
“I know the question you want to ask me concerning this but let me plead that I should be excused, “he begged.
However, Vanguard gathered that Senate President Saraki will read the letter at the plenary, today.
Dogara pledges harmonious relations with the Executive arm
Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, confirmed receiving communication from President Buhari on his resumption of duty.
Speaking shortly after the letter was handed over to him by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (House of Reps) Suleiman Abdurhaman Kawu Sumaila, the speaker said he would read the letter to his colleagues at plenary today since the communication was meant for them.
His words: “Tomorrow (Today), I will read this to my colleagues on the floor of the House and thereafter make comments from there. However, permit me to thank you for working hard to ensure that there is harmonious working relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly.
“In your own case, I can say it was an appointment that we can truly say amounted to putting a round peg in a round hole or a square peg in a square hole. So no wonder we have seen to some extent some form of understanding between the National Assembly and the Presidency.
“We promise that we will cooperate more than we fight. Like I said before, we will always fight and that has been the practice in all climes and ours cannot be an exception but we will cooperate more in the interest of our people rather than fight.”
While presenting the letter to the Speaker, Sumaila commended Dogara for supporting the President and the executive arm of government.