Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Why I never allowed Atiku to act as President – Obasanjo

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday revealed reasons he never declared former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as acting President during their tenure.

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He said that he didn’t devolve powers to Mr Atiku because he didn’t have to travel out of the country for 104 days like President Muhammadu Buhari did when he went to London for a medical vacation.

Mr Obasanjo, who stated this while delivering a paper at the Lagos Island Club Quarterly Business Lecture, described as erroneous the impression some people are having that he stifled his former vice-president during their tenure.

According to him, there is no Nigerian Chief Executive that has devolved powers to his deputy as much as he did to former vice-president Atiku.

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He said: “(Atiku) had occasions to preside on a few times that I was out of the country on duty. On those occasions he was in charge of the Federal Executive Council meetings.  And, no Nigerian Chief Executive has devolved to his deputy as much as I did to Atiku.

“I did not need to designate him as acting president because the constitution is clear that once the President is not available, the Vice President automatically has resumed powers and can only consult when is considered necessary.

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“But since I was not absent from home for 104 days at a time, people may not know that Atiku actually stood in for me whenever I was not around.”

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