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How Buhari, Osinbajo took big decisions during President’s vacation

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‘Sack of Daura had been on the cards’

By Soni Daniel, Abuja

As President Muhammadu Buhari returned home after his 10-day vacation in the UK, sources at the seat of power, yesterday, spoke of  how closely Vice President Yemi Osinbajo  and Buhari collaborated to take important decisions affecting Nigeria while the President was away.

Actually, it was  revealed that although the President was on vacation, he and the VP were in contact by phone to discuss important state issues and compare notes. In all their interactions, the Presidential Villa sources said Buhari always encouraged the VP to do the needful and take charge effectively.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

For instance, the sources disclosed  that less than two weeks before the President departed for the UK on vacation, there was a decision already reached to replace the former Director-General of the Department of State Security, DSS, Mr Lawal Daura, who was later fired by the Acting President.

The decision, however, did not see the light of day when some influential backers of the sacked DG rallied together to frustrate the plan. But unknown to many of the backers, the President and his vice had always discussed the need to review the appointments of some of the security chiefs including the sacked DG.

Even regarding the overhaul of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, which Osinbajo  announced, last week, the sources explained that the matter had featured prominently in regular interactions of the President and the VP and also interactions by both of them with the Inspector-General of Police.

In similar vein, the decision of the National Economic Council to set up a committee to work with the Inspector-General of Police and find ways to decentralize police operations is a reflection, officials say, of discussions and plans that both the President and the Vice President had gone over a number of times previously.

Said a top Presidency source, “It is really pointless to try to attribute some of this decisions in a manner that suggests that maybe the President would not have taken them or that it was just one arm of the Presidency that is responsible for them. The President and his deputy are far much closer than any other set of leaders the country has produced at least since 1999 if not even beyond.”

The source added that it is, therefore, mischievous for some people to be comparing the two leaders. “The  truth is that the President and his VP act in concert and credit ought to be given to the President who has ensured over and again that the VP is certainty a major power broker in the presidency”, the source said.

“There is hardly a move the VP would make without first securing the blessing of the President and both of this gentlemen have developed mutual trust and confidence in each other and this is beneficial for the country.”

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