By Deji Abdulwahab
Abuja – The All Progressives Congress (APC), has dismissed the alleged ‘whittling down’ of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s roles in the present administration, describing the allegation as a mere conspiracy.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
“Recently, the media has been awashed with an absurd conspiracy of an imagined rift in the presidency, which according to conspirators led to the alleged ‘whittling down’ of Osinbajo’s roles in the administration.
“This happens to be one of the many fake news flying around in recent days,” he said.
Issa-Onilu said that the conspirators went on overdrive , following the setting up of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), comprising some of Nigeria’s most independent-minded economists (some vocally critical of government’s fiscal policies) to advise the president on economic policy matters.
The EAC mandate, he added, included fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues, working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.
“Constitutionally, while the power of the Vice President is derived from the President, the conspirators deliberately choose to ignore Section 141 of the Constitution, which spells out the Vice President’s statute membership in the National Security Council.
“And also, membership in the National Defence Council, Federal Executive Council, and the Chairman of National Economic Council,” he said.
The party’s spokesman also condemned some “sponsored reports” insinuating that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), gave the Vice President N90 billion for the 2019 election.
“It is a rejected and disgraceful template of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which saw the party deploying public and counter insurgency funds to finance their political activities during their failed 16-year rule of the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari in his 59th independence speech announced plans to upgrade the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs) to a full fledged ministry with the take-off of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“The conspirators are desperately trying to link government decisions on the N-SIPs, which have been under the office of the Vice President since it started in 2016 to support the conspiracies, however, mundane.
“The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). Was this also to ‘whittle down’ the powers of the OSGF,” he said.