President Muhammadu Buhari this morning failed to show up for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa.
Just like it happened the last time two weeks ago, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had to chair the meeting at the last minute.
Last week, the meeting did not hold at all, and the presidency blamed the Easter break for the inability of the FEC secretariat to circulate relevant memos to cabinet members.
Today, there had been protocol and security arrangements that indicated that the President was being expected up to 11am, which has become the usual commencement time for the meeting since Buhari returned from a medical vacation abroad.
However, soon after, the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), came into the hall and whispered for some seconds into the ears of Osinbajo who had already been seated there for about ten minutes.
He apparently informed the Vice-President that Buhari would not come for the meeting.
The Vice-President then called the meeting to order with 18 ministers, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifed Oyo-Ita; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; as well as a few other Villa aides present.
Osinbajo requested for a recitation of the national anthem and He then asked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to say the Muslim and Christian opening prayers, respectively before journalists were excused out of the Council Chamber venue of the meeting.
Buhari has considerably scaled down his official functions since his return from a 50-day medical vacation in London.
While this has caused anxiety in some quarters, presidency aides have insisted that the president has been carrying out some of his duties in an office in his official residence.
Buhari’s last public appearance was on Friday last week when he came to the Villa mosque for Juma’at prayers.