Following a report published earlier in TheNewsGuru [TNG] on how the Presidency has taken decisive steps to strip the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo of some of his powers, sources close to the VP’s office have made available to this medium, scoops validating an ongoing power play by some cabals in Aso rock, who are hell-bent on cutting down the perceived influence [which the said cabals find threatning] wielded by Osinbajo under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The plot to sideline the VP took the stage publicly a few days ago after the Economic Management Team [EMT] chaired by Osinbajo was suddenly replaced by an Economic Advisory Council which will report directly to the President.
The Presidency, TNG gathered is also planning to strip the Vice-President of his brainchild known as the Social Investment Programme which comprises the TraderMoni Scheme, N-Power, school feeding programme and others.
According to a source who spoke to TNG under the condition of anonymity, the twist around Osinbajo’s fate is weaved by some of Buhari’s men in Aso Villa who have vested interest in determining the outcome of 2023 presidential permutation.
“Osinbajo is seen as one of the most influential elements of the Buhari administration from the South and their intention is to cut him off any significant engagements with the Nigerian people as they step up the campaign against South-West presidential campaign bid.
“This is by no means the beginning of the Cabal’s moves. When Buhari announced the ministers’ portfolios and created a new Ministry of Social DEVELOPMENT, Humanitarian & Disaster Management, many saw the hands of the Cabal trying to take away the most popular and acclaimed programs of the Buhari administration from the VP. How that move is to be done remains to be seen.
“To achieve this scheme, the team concluded early that it was necessary to pull down the rising profile of the VP & drive a wedge between him & the President as quickly as possible.
Our source added that the cabal successfully maligned Osinbajo in Buhari’s circle by playing up the cards the VP played in Walter Onnoghen’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Federation and the removal of Lawan Daura as the head of DSS.
The source said, “The VP was blackmailed as working against the interest of the presidency when he took critical decisions during Buhari’s medical leave.
“But the truth is, all their moves are targetted at cutting him off relevance ahead of 2023 election. This became especially urgent as the South West was being discussed as the Zone to produce the next President after Buhari.”
With the Economic Management Team dissolved and the Social Investment Programmes consigned to a Ministry, it is clear that that the Cabals have somehow confused and blindsided the President to render his VP impotent.
Currently, Osinbajo is the chairman of the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency, the National Boundary Commission, the Border Communities Development Agency and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company — a limited liability company owned by the three tiers of government.
It was learnt that some agencies, such as NEMA, would rather deal directly with the President than with Osinbajo.
There are also reports that some of Osinbajo’s aides had been transferred out of the Presidential Villa and seconded to some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.