Leaders from the Southern part of the country and the Middle-belt under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), have demanded an explanation from the presidency on the travails of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The leaders in a joint statement issued on Sunday titled: ‘Rumble in Presidency: Need To Know’, the prominent leaders, including Chief E. K. Clark (South South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South West), Chief John Nnia Nwodo (South East) and Dr. Pogu Bitrus (Middle Belt), said the clarifications from the presidency on the status of Osinbajo is necessary in order to preserve the unity of the country.
The statement reads: “The office of the Vice- President today is definitely not what it was two weeks ago. Something is definitely wrong even when we cannot place our fingers on it yet.
“And this is because of the opaque handling of affairs of a supposed constitutional democracy and open society in a manner reminiscent of a kingdom where things are done according to the whims and caprices of the monarch.”
Arguing that in a democracy, people need to know the ways their lives are being run by those they have hired to do the job, the body drew attention to the multiethnic nature of Nigeria and that the geo-political balancing of its presidency will make the kind of actions that have been taken against the office of the Vice-President attract the usual suspicion of the experiences of Ebitu Ukiwe and Oladipo Diya, if there are no explanations to the public.
“In this dispensation in particular, references would be made to the treatment of Justice Walter Onnoghen, Mrs. Winifred Oyo- Ita and now Prof. Osinbajo on one hand, and Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina of Pension Reform Task Force, Prof. Usman Yusuf of NHIS and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano on the other hands.
“In order to preserve the unity of the country, therefore, we demand explanation on what is happening to Osinbajo from the Presidency and if no such is forthcoming, his functions should be restored.
“We have equally noticed unusual quietness from the Presidency on damaging allegations against the Vice-President. In any normal clime, it should not have taken more than a day for the presidency to dispel the allegations to maintain the moral standing of the VP and the integrity of the administration.
“We, therefore, demand a statement from the government on the weighty allegations or an investigation to be caused.
We hold our breath until the public is properly briefed”, SMBLF said.