The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has sworn in the two new ministers who were recently confirmed by the Senate.
They are Stephen Ocheni and Suleiman Hassan. While Mr Ocheni is now the Minister of State For Labour, Mr Hassan was sworn in as the second minister of state in the Ministry Of Power, Works and Housing. “The Acting President finally got cleared to swear in the Ministers”, a source at the Presidential Villa Abuja tells NewsWireNGR.
Mr Ocheni sworn in by Acting President after a long wait expecting a “go ahead” from ailing Buhari who has spent 100 days in London, hails from Kogi State and replaces the late James Ocholi who died in a car crash last year.
Mr Hassan, who is from Gombe State, takes the place of Amina Mohammed who is now serving as deputy secretary general of the United Nations. Mrs Mohammed was, however, the Minister of the Environment before leaving for the U.N.
According to Reuters News Agency, Buhari has kept a grip on power despite his medical leave, and the more business-friendly Osinbajo has been reluctant to challenge him. This has gone as far as him flying to London to get permission for personnel changes.
“He (Osinbajo) is so scared to offend President Buhari to the extent that he takes no major action without consent from him through phone,” said a presidency official, asking not to be named tells Reuters.
Osinbajo and his aides often hold meetings which has enlivened a presidential villa criticized for inertia — but he still seeks approval from Buhari or his chief of staff.
The Acting President has also sworn in 15 permanent secretaries in the federal civil service.
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, had slammed the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stating he not in charge of the country.
It said actions taken by the Acting President had shown that power was not handed over to him contrary to the claim by the Presidency that ailing President Muhammadu Buhari ceded power to him (Osinbajo) before leaving Nigeria for London on medical trip more than 90 days ago.
“How do you explain a situation where two of the ministers who were sworn in after much pressure from the people and the National Assembly have not been assigned portfolios?
“He is not in charge. He is a mere figurehead and cannot do anything. The cabals are still in charge. That is why nothing is moving forward in this country.” – The statement reads.