October 19, 2019
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2023: Buhari trims Osinbajo wings, as north plans to hijack power

ABIODUN JIMOH

The mutual power interchanged between  North and South since the emancipation of democratic rule in 1999 is set to be eroded as the northern oligarchy motion to cleave unto power beyond 2023 is fast emerging.

The recent pronouncement of President Muhammadu Buhari ordering Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to relinquish power accrued to him is an attempt by the president to whittle-down Prof. Osinbajo’s influence and plot to emerge as the candidate for the south in 2023.

Daily Dispatch gathered that the rising profile of the vice president in the north, and among the governors who have tremendously given their support to his candidacy over the years seem to be on the downfall as a result of the desperation of the north to hold unto power beyond 2023.

The usual cordial working relationship between President Buhari and his vice president enjoyed in the first tenure of this administration whereby the number two citizen held sway on many occasions even during travail of President Buhari health sabbatical leave in London hospital could be vividly dwindling.

The delegation of power to Professor Osinbajo between 2015 and 2019 was visible, in which several critical decisions were taken and received applause from Nigerians who felt his impact as a worthy vice to Buhari and hereby erased the mindset of typical style of government to suppress their deputy, and made them redundant.

However, the second four year tenure of the President Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration that simply indicates the last lap of the northern rule while the southern president is expected to emerge in 2023 is discovered to be drowning as it has been leaked through the recent happening within the presidency.

Before now, the duo of Professor Osinbajo and Mallam El-Rufai are the favourite’s for the position having received the backings of governors especially from the north in one of their meetings in Abuja.

This backing was attributed to the loyalty of the vice president who at no time arrogated power to himself, but always a law abiding and dependable ally to president Buhari. This pitched him on the good record book of the northern governors as their favourites.

Though, some governors on the other hand kept mute from expressing their choice candidate for the topmost position to avoid the wrath of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whom many believed to be eyeing the position until recently when he was said not to be interested in the post.

This sudden declaration by Tinubu through his associates was attested to the massive votes and support APC gathered across the South-West states during the presidential election early this year. This efforts led to the reelection of president Buhari and his vice to power for the second tenure.

Moreover, barely four months into the office, the tide has changed and the initial romance and trust that characterised the first tenure between the president and his vice is gradually fading, while the urge to make power remains in the north after 2023 is beginning to manifest.

What occurred on Monday, September 16 when the president made pronouncements that is inimical to his first tenure attention by removing Prof. Osinbajo as the chairman of National Economic Council (NEC), a constitutional body comprises of all the state governors and principal federal government officials. He later constituted a new board that will be reporting directly to his office as against the initial handling by the number two man.

With this development, the vice president stands to lose several of his chairmanship positions such as the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); the National Boundary Commission (NBC); the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA); the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), and the board of directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

The grand design of all these is to make him less powerful and prevent him from becoming a major obstacle to the 2023 presidency architecture project by the northern oligarchy to continually be in power beyond measure.

As if that was not enough, President Buhari hitherto dealt another blow when he ordered the dissolution of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), established by Prof. Osinbajo while he was acting president to complement the anti-corruption crusade of the APC led government. Even, the head of the agency, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, was not spared by the dissolution, but was also relieved of his position.

Buhari has also directed Osinbajo to henceforth seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision through an exposed memo that contains the directive that under the laws setting up the agencies, the president is empowered to give final approval. This was to render him redundant and not relevant in his another four years governance.

Moreover, this grand conspiracy against vice president, Prof. Osinbajo is a seldom eye opener to the project of continuous power play by the north while the taunted southerners direction on this may be unfolded in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, in spite of the vice president denying the report on hijacking of several agencies under his tutelage by the president, but the fact remains that the one’s lovebird is flying to the rock which will manifest in a twinkling of an eye.

Time will tell as the event in the next few days will reveal more than ever ambition of the age long slogan ‘Born to Rule’ by the northerners courtesy of the British handing over after independence in 1960.

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