Although the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has taken charge of Nigerian affairs during his medical trip to the United Kingdom, the President, Major General (retd.) Muhammadu Buhari, has not officially informed the National Assembly of the transfer of power, The VYBEZ reports.
In the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday, the first plenary day after Buhari’s trip, no presidential communication on the transfer of power was read by the presiding officers.
Asked if there had been any communication from the presidency to the National Assembly about Buhari’s trip, an official from one of the liaison offices, who did not want to be named, replied “no.”
The president had said Sunday that Osinbajo would take over while he is in London for a routine two-week visit.
Buhari said this shortly before his plane, Nigeria Air Force 1, took off from the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at about 2 p.m. Sunday.
Asked if his absence would not affect state duties, he said, “Well…. I can’t say I’m doing the work alone. The government is fully represented. The vice president is there. When I am absent, he is in charge, according to the Constitution. And then the Secretary of Government (of the Federation, Boss Mustapha) and the Chief of Staff (of the President, Ibrahim Gambari) are also there. So there is no problem”.
Section 145(1) of the 1999 Constitution states that “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is going on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to perform the duties of his office until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, those duties shall be performed by the Vice President as Acting President.
Since Buhari and Osinbajo took office on May 29, 2015, the President has officially transferred power to the Vice President three times.
In February 2016, when Buhari took a five-day vacation, he transferred power to the vice president.
The president did the same in June 2016, when he traveled to London for treatment of an ear infection.
In January 2017, Buhari informed the National Assembly in writing of his ten-day leave and transfer of power to the vice president.
The president’s vacation lasted from January 23 to February 6, or 10 working days.