Presidency seems to be uncomfortable with recent developments in the polity where a number of Nigerians have attributed gains in the economy to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
It is therefore seemingly taking discreet steps to address the situation, and project the government’s achievements as the collective gains of not just Osinbajo, but that of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
With President Buhari away on medical vacation, Prof Osinbajo has been at the helm piloting the affairs of government since January 19, during which period Nigerians say there have been a number of improvements due to policy thrusts of government.
An opposition Senator, Ben Murray Bruce put it succinctly when he tweeted “Whatever the acting President is doing to increase the value of the Naira is working. We appeal to him to teach his boss this magic he has!”
Seemingly uncomfortable with the development, which they say is likely to create a divide between the president and his vice, government officials have resorted to ensuring that they deliberately close the divide.
They have over the last few days embarked on a desperate sensitisation drive to ensure that the storyline changes from ‘Osinbajo’ to ‘Buhari government’, by ensuring that statements, releases and speeches deliberately reflect every government move as that of a Buhari administration.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, told State House correspondents, on Monday that it was wrong for anybody to be claiming that the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had been performing better than President Buhari since the President started his extended medical vacation.
He said said Osinbajo “still consults with Buhari on major national issues” on a regular basis.
The presidential aide said, “The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing, are the ones saying this. It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person”.
There is nothing that has been done since the Vice-President started acting that is not something that started far back in the past”.
Another government official put it thus: “You press guys are not helping matters. Your delight for sensationalism has made you highlight the government’s achievements as if he (Osinbajo) is a one man squad. You forget that they came into government on one ticket.
That the president is away does not mean he is not aware, or does not give approval of these policies being implemented.
Buhari who is London on an extended medical vacation has called a number of government officials, including Osinbajo, special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, and has also hosted a number of his party faithfulls including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who he severally told that he is still resting and will be back in the country soon.