Medical trip: Buhari clears air, hands over to Osinbajo

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    President Muhammadu Buhari said the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would be in charge of governance in the country as he departed for London on Sunday.

    The President disclosed this while speaking to State House correspondents shortly before his trip to the United Kingdom for a medical check-up.

    The assertion may have put paid to speculations that the VP is less regarded.

    Buhari said Osinbajo would be assisted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.

    As of the time of filing this report, however, there was no indication the President sent a letter to the Senate indicating the transfer of power to the VP in his absence in the country, which is the constitutional thing to do.

    The President said his absence from the country would not affect the running of the government.

    He said: ”Well, I cannot claim to be doing the work alone. The government is fully represented-the Vice President is there, constitutionally when I am away he is in charge; and the Secretary to the government and the Chief of Staff. So, no problem.”

    The President had initially planned to leave Kenya directly for London after attending a programme of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) at 50 but made an abrupt return to the country before eventually departing Abuja for London on Sunday.

    The president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, had on March 1, in a statement, said Buhari would from Kenya proceed to London for ”routine medical checks that will last for a maximum of two weeks.”

    However, the President returned to Abuja on Friday at about 1.p.m before embarking on the London trip on Sunday.

    Despite criticisms, Buhari has been going to London for medical treatments since he assumed office as a democratically elected President in 2015.

    Meanwhile, before his departure, President Buhari also told State House correspondents that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)has the capacity to resolve its differences bordering on the forthcoming national convention.

    The APC has been enmeshed in internal wrangling over zoning of political positions which is threatening to tear it apart.

    It was reported that President Buhari had endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State as a consensus candidate for the party’s chairmanship position, but other aspirants for the seat had allegedly kicked against what they described as imposition, contrary to the tenets of democracy.

    But despite the plethora of agitations and internal crisis in the party, President Buhari said that there was no cause for alarm, as the party has what it takes to handle every issues.

    Fielding question from journalists before he departed to London on what he would tell a section of Nigerians who had expressed doubt over the ability of the APC to conduct a successful national convention, the President said, “Well, they should wait and see.

    “How did we come as a party to take power from the ruling party who had been there before us for so many years? So we have the capacity, everything will be alright.”