Osinbajo’s 48 Hours As Acting President

President Muhammadu Buhari on
Friday started what the
Presidency described in a three-
paragraph statement as a short
For six days, the 73-year-old
retired general would not be at
his duty post. Unlike what
happened under late President
Musa Yar’Adua that forced the
National Assembly to adopt the
doctrine of necessity, Buhari did
not leave a vacuum. He was said
to have written to the two
chambers of the National
Assembly as required by law that
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo
would hold the fort for him while
the vacation lasted.
As of the time the Special
Adviser to the President on
Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi
Adesina, issued a statement on
Friday announcing the
development, Osinbajo was far
away from the Presidential Villa,
Abuja. The acting President was
not anywhere near the Federal
Capital Territory. Osinbajo had
left Abuja in the early hours of
Friday for Lagos. Being a pastor
in The Redeemed Christian
Church of God, he has continued
attending the church’s monthly
vigil tagged ‘Holy Ghost Night’
which holds every first Friday of
the month inside the church’s
facility, located on the popular
Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, despite
his status.
Ordinarily, Osinbajo normally
travels to Lagos in the afternoon
to enable him attend the
programme which starts in the
evening. But on this day, he left
in the morning, apparently to
attend to other engagements
before the programme started in
the evening. For instance, he
attended the 13th Centre for
Values in Leadership Annual
Lecture and International
Leadership Symposium in Lagos
before the vigil.
The Presidential Villa was
understandably deserted on
Friday. Even at the Vice-
President’s Wing, only a few aides
who did not go with him to
Lagos were in their offices.
Immediately the news broke that
the President had proceeded on
leave, State House
correspondents thought Osinbajo
would cut short his trip to Lagos.
They all gathered at his side of
the Villa and waited. But when
the waiting game extended into
late in the evening, it became
clear that the acting President
would not return to the office on
Friday. Saturday’s experience was
similar to that of Friday. There
was no sign of life when our
correspondent visited the Vice-
President’s Wing, except for a few
security operatives who were on
duty. Being a weekend, no senior
officials —civil servants or
political office holders—were
seen on duty.
The situation was the same at
Osinbajo’s official residence,
Akinola Aguda House. No visible
activity was observed there when
our correspondent visited at
about 4pm, except for a soldier
who was seen inside the sentry
box and three operatives of the
Department of State Services
who were also at the gate leading
to the building.
At 4.30pm, when this report was
filed, Osinbajo was still being
expected in Abuja. His Senior
Special Assistant on Media and
Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande,
confirmed this to our
correspondent on the telephone
saying, “Yes, he travelled to
Lagos and I can confirm to you
that he is being expected back
today (Saturday),”
It is expected that apart from a
few meetings or consultations
that may take place behind
closed doors during the weekend,
Osinbajo would resume work
formally as the acting President
on Monday.