Osinbajo, Kyari and the growing influence of Villa control



All has not been well with Nigeria’s seat of power in recent times. A lot of rumours mill to give credence to the assertion that there is no smoke without fire has gathered enough momentum for Nigerians to begin to wonder the sort of power play that is going on in the Presidential Villa.

Tension reached its crescendo last week when the ‘all powerful’ Chief of Staff flew all the way to London for a Presidential appendage on documents of National importance. Barely 24hrs after, it came to the fore that the Vice President’s aides have been downsized by the Office of the President.

Despite initial denial attempt by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the same office backtracked and Presidential aide Garba Shehu later justified that it was for the purpose of cutting cost of governance.

One will wonder why cutting cost was not factored during the fiscal budget year, and why, of all the extravagant expenditures in the villa, it is only a reduction in the size of the Vice President’s Aides that will guarantee cost effectiveness.

Obviously, the wings and influence of the Vice President wants to be put in check ahead of the 2023 game.

There is no exonerating Abba Kyari’s significant role in facilitating whatever it is that may be happening to the Vice President, but whether Abba Kyari is a pawn in the hands of bigger guys who are aiming for Buhari’s seat remains to be seen at the right time.

Kyari has always been a Maverick in the Villa. When the President directed ministers to be reporting to him, it was not clear to Nigerians that a political appointee was going to be more powerful than a democratically elected Vice President.

Various political stakeholders have expressed their stance on the issues panning out at the Villa, some even calling on Osinbajo to resign in order to avoid further humiliation.

It is no secret that Osinbajo had locked horns with the canals when he fired the former Boss of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Lawan Daura, during President Buhari’s medical vacation in May, 2018.

On November 5, 2015, President Buhari declared all Communication and appointment to be routed through the office of chief of staff (COS) as a normal procedure in the presidency. This declaration had however made the Chief of Staff powerful beyond measure.

Abba has allegedly influenced key policy issues such as replacement of the Osinbajo led economic management team by an advisory council that will report directly to the President. With such influence, we can be certain Kyari takes the briefs.

Kyari’s power is a breeding ground for concern. Reports have it that ministers and political appointees have to queue in his office to carry out some official functions.

What is happening to the Vice President, Ministers and other officials of government as a result of Kyari’s power may creat a lacuna of consequences to the country. It is therefore critical and rational to accord mutual respect to people and offices that deserve it.

Respect for individual authority is respect to democracy, and unfair exercise of authorities is also a trap dawn on fundamental principles of democratic tenets.

Salis Mohammed Manager, a student of Department of Information and Media studies,

Bayero University, Kano

[email protected]

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