Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is practically walking a tightrope in his running of government affairs in order not to appear disloyal to his principal, Muhammadu Buhari, who has been away from the country for the past 100 days.
This is according to a report by Reuters, an international media organization.
The report claims that Buhari still has a strong grip on the issues back in Nigeria, as Osinbajo has to get a clearance from him or “his Chief of Staff”, Abba Kyari, before making any major decision.
“Buhari has kept a grip on power despite his medical leave, and the more business-friendly Osinbajo has been reluctant to challenge him,” the report says.
“This has gone as far as him flying to London to get permission for personnel changes.
“More than three months after leaving Nigeria, it remains unclear when Buhari will return, despite his remarks about his desire to resume work.
“But even from far-away London Buhari and his aides have restrained Osinbajo.”
The report further said that the Acting President and his aides often hold meetings at the presidential villa “but he still seeks approval from Buhari or his chief of staff”.
“He (Osinbajo) is so scared to offend President Buhari to the extent that he takes no major action without consent from him through phone,” Reauters quoted an anonymous presidency official as saying.
The official also claimed that Osinbajo’s brief visit to London last month was “to get Buhari’s approval to appoint two ministers who had been already cleared by parliament”.
“As a Christian lawyer from southern commercial capital Lagos, he (Osinbajo) is walking a tightrope to avoid policies that may annoy Buhari and his inner circle, who are mainly Muslim northerners,” it further stated.
An unnamed presidential adviser was quoted as saying that “the chief of staff and his team are working alongside Osinbajo on the understanding that [he] will not run in 2019”.
“The election cycle is the last two years of an administration,” it said. “As we enter the election the issue of mutual trust becomes crucial because nobody wants to be ambushed.”