Wednesday, May 25, 2022


Did PMB just downgrade Osinbajo from ‘acting president’ to ‘coordinating president’?

Did PMB just downgrade Osinbajo from ‘acting president’ to ‘coordinating president’?
May 09
16:01 2017

There seems to be ambiguity in President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent letter of “transfer of power” sent to the national assembly.

Back in January when he left the country for medical treatment in the UK, he stated clearly in a letter to the legislature that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would “perform the duties” of his office while he was away.

“In compliance with section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended, I wish to inform the distinguished senate that I will be away for a short medical vacation from Monday, January, 23 to February 6th, 2017 and while I am away, the vice-president (Osinbajo) will perform the functions of my office,” the letter read.

The president spent 49 days abroad at the time after which he resumed duties in March.


On Sunday, he returned to the UK for medical treatment.

In the letter he sent to the senate and read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, Buhari said the vice president would “coordinate the activities of government” in his absence. This is markedly different from the first one.

“I wish to inform the distinguished senate that I will be away for a scheduled medical follow-up with my doctors in London. The length of my stay will be determined by the doctors’ advice,”  the president’s letter read.


“While I am away, the vice-president will coordinate the activities of the government.”

Going by the president’s choice of word, “coordinate”, the vice-president is simply empowered to organise the activities of the government, and perhaps, not run it.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, “coordinate” means: 1.To organise the different parts of an activity and the people involved in it so it works well. 2. To make the different parts of your body work well together.

The point is, “coordinating the activities of government” – as seen in the second letter – is different from “performing the duties of my office” – as seen in the first letter.


Mao Ohuabunwa, a senator from Abia state, pointed out the “inscrutability” of the letter on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday, but he was ruled out of order.

“Any letter should be unambiguous and very clear, so I’m saying that this letter really does not convey anything because coordinating has no place in our constitution. We having been having letters like this, you tell us he is the acting president so we know who to deal with as a senate,” he said.

“I am saying that this letter for me is not right and maybe it should be sent back.”

However, Ahmed Lawan, senate leader, said the wording of the letter was irrelevant because the president had followed the constitution by informing the national assembly of his absence.


So, who is supervising the coordinating president?


1 Comment

  1. Musty
    Musty May 12, 07:31

    To me the word coordinating is not something to worry about, becouse even PMB he is coodinating this government, and executing it. So pls don’t divide our esteem leaders PMB and his Vice. They have mutual understanding.

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