By Kayode Sesan
All appears not to be smooth between President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo as it relates to national security matters.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met behind closed doors with some security chiefs to marshal the country’s plans that will be presented at a meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja on Thursday. Vice President Osinbajo was conspicuously absent at this meeting.
National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Ismail Aliyu; Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin attended the meeting held inside the Defence House in Abuja.
According to a state house correspondent who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on Wednesday, this is the second time Vice President Osinabjo will be “denied access” into a strategic security briefing with the President. “Normally, the Vice President should be part of these inauguarl security briefings because he is the second in command and will deputise for the President in his absence. His absence two times in a row is not healthy at this early stage of their working relationship. We don’t actually know what is going on”, the source said.
Last week Wednesday, June 3rd 2015, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was reportedly ‘locked out’ of President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with the National Security Adviser on the orders of President Buhari. According to reports, Vice-President Osinbajo was refused ‘security clearance’ to attend the meeting as a result of security concerns by the Commander-in-Chief allegedly over what he described as a “very sensitive meeting.”
Permanent Secretary at Nigeria’s Ministry of Defence, Ismail Aliyu briefed State House correspondents at the end of today’s meeting, which lasted less more than two hours.
He said they discussed issues relating to the operationalisation of the Multinational Joint Task Force and the contributions of each member state.
He said the President, at the meeting, reiterated his desire to end insurgency in the country and the region in shortest possible time.
Aliyu said, “We came to brief Mr. President on the meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
President Buhari appears not to be the only one undermining the office of the Vice President. Newly elected Senate President, Bukola Saraki shunned a truce meeting called on Monday by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Senator Saraki boycotted the meeting after reportedly telling party leaders that as a former governor he could not attend a meeting summoned by a ‘mere commissioner’, referring to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, whose previous public office was as Commissioner of Justice in Lagos State.