A new grand plan by an Aso Rock cabal led by the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to weaken the constitutional authority of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has taken off at the presidential palace in Abuja, with a meeting held in London last week.
The new scheme comes after an earlier attempt to hijack Mr. Osinbajo’s constitutional authority failed, authoritative sources told SaharaReporters.
The sources revealed that the cabal had the surreptitious meeting a few days ago in London at which a handful of disgruntled presidential aides were in attendance, but without the knowledge of the ailing President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in the United Kingdom on a medical vacation. The officials are described as abhorrent of Buhari’s transfer of presidential power transfer to his deputy, preferring that one of them be charged with the exercise of such authority in the absence of the President.
SaharaReporters learned that the meeting resolved to adopt fresh tactics to constrain the Acting President by seeking to foist on him spurious and patently false allegations.
One source stated that the cabal does not care that their activities would amount to a violation of the Nigerian constitution.
In addition to Mr. Kyari, who is himself also sick and frequenting hospitals in the UK for a treatment of a variety of ailments, others involved in the plot include the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, as well as Buhari’s secretary, Tunde Sabiu.
The cabal is miffed that the President gave the VP unfettered support to assert himself in the capacity of Acting President before departing Nigeria on his latest visit to London. The sources say the inner circle members fear not only that the move would reduce their presidential influence, but that it may also cause them to account for some of their shady deals that have been covered up so far, especially in view of the uncertainty of Buhari’s health.
Lately, the President himself is reported to have become disillusioned about the antics and schemes of some of his aides who have attempted to undermine the authority of the Ag. President. Among such developments, Mr. Kyari is said to have showed up to see President Buhari with a list of career ambassadors, asking him to let the cabal decide where to place each of them.
In a similar development, the Chief of Staff Kyari reportedly requested that communication from the vacationing President to officials of the government, including the Acting President, would be through him. He even suggested in some circles that the Ag. President should check with the President through him, any major decision on the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the military. But he lacked the courage to make the suggestion directly to the Acting President.
While the cabal may have sought new ways to undermine Osinbajo’s authority, President Buhari is said to believe in supporting him as well, although his health and treatment have not permitted him to do much.
One of the main decisions of the meeting in London was to cast ethnic and religious aspersions on the Acting President’s appointments, and the person chosen to implement this was Mr. Sirika, who is said to be uncomfortable with Osinbajo’s free-willing romance with the northern elite, and his seeming acceptance by the ordinary people in the north.
Mr. Sirika was given the task of accusing Osinbajo of appointing only Christians to his office, a charge presidential aides disputed widely over the weekend.
They pointed out that a huge majority of the Acting President’s security aides and other officials are Northerners and Muslims inherited from the former vice-president, Namadi Sambo, who himself was surprised recently when he visited the acting President to see most of them still around.
“Even when you look at the stewards who serve the VP, they are all Northerners and Muslims,” they claimed.
The latest plot led by Mr. Sirika via social media shot its first round of attack on the Acting President with a phony author reeling off accusations on the former law professor. The faceless author went as far as insinuating that the Acting President was “consolidating for 2019.” our source lamented
Just as if he knew what might happen during his latest trip to the United Kingdom, President Buhari reportedly did something unique on May 7, 2017, the day he flew out, bringing together the Vice President and leaders of the National Assembly at his residence. Explaining the nature of his trip, he informed them that he would be following the Constitution to write to the National Assembly so that power can temporarily transfer to the Vice President.
Aso Rock sources explained that while the President had traveled abroad and transmitted power to the VP a number of times in the past, holding a joint physical meeting with him and the leaders of the National Assembly leaders was a new move by the President, as he had usually transmitted the letter and then traveled.
SaharaReporters sources said he made the move because he no longer trusted some of his aides who have shown that they are threatened by the mutual and cordial relationship between himself and the Vice President. That also explains why, for instance, members of the cabal were taken by surprise when Mr. Buhari bypassed them in deciding on a probe to investigate the SGF and the NIA boss. Mr. Kyari was said to have been stunned when the media office issued the announcement without his knowledge.