By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Coming on the heels of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inability to preside over the weekly Federal Executive Council’s meeting of last Wednesday (April 12), the Presidency, on Wednesday, blamed the Easter holiday for the cancellation of this week’s FEC meeting.
Buhari’s absence at last Wednesday’s FEC meeting had left the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to preside over it.
The President’s absence had led to speculation that it could be because of his ill health.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had said that Buhari was attending to other issues of national importance and not because of ill health that he failed to show up.
State House correspondents, who had no prior knowledge of the cancellation, got to the Council Chambers, venue of the meeting, only to learn that it would not hold.
When reached for comments, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, explained that it was canceled because the Council’s secretariat staff had no opportunity to circulate relevant documents for the meeting because of the Easter holiday.
“I think it is because of the Easter holiday. The secretariat had no time to circulate the necessary documents,” he said.
According to him, there is a requirement in the law which states that the documents must be circulated to concerned individuals before the meeting.
When asked why the documents were not circulated before the holiday since the secretariat knew before hand that there would be a holiday, he explained that, as human beings, they also needed the break.
When asked, if it was not due to the President’s health, the Presidential media aide denied that the cancellation was related to his state of health.
He said that it would be wrong to make such assumption.
“That will not be fair. The staff on the Council secretariat resumed on Tuesday after the Easter.
“There was no time to prepare and circulate memos to ministers. By practice, the ministers receive council memos two or three days ahead of meetings because they must read them and sometimes undertake research.
“It is not a rubber stamp council so everyone must prepare themselves well for debates,” Shehu said.