Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Coordinator of National Affairs: Buhari's Letter to N'Assembly Divides Nigerians


    Ukorebi Esien
The letter sent by Ailing Mr. President regarding his Medical trip to the UK has set the senate and the entire country in disarray. The letter which was addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki addressed the Vice President as "Coordinator".

This was questioned by a Senator who argued that Mr. Osinbajo should have been designated “acting president”. Mao Ohabunwa, a Peoples Democratic Party senator, representing Abia North, said it was not proper to name the vice president “coordinator” of the nation’s affairs.

'The Letter reads in part:
“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 letter by the President read. “While I am away, the vice-president will coordinate the activities of the government.” Ohuabunwa citing section 145 of the constitution, said for the sake of clarity, the letter should be sent back to the president.

In his argument, the Senator said there was no word like coordinating president or vice-president in the constitution. “I come with a constitutional point of order arising from the letter you just read from the president,” he said. “Mr President I don’t think in our constitution we have anything like coordinating president of vice-president, it’s either you are a vice-president or you are acting president. “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.
“I am saying that this letter for me is not right and maybe it should be sent back.”

However, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, senate leader, said the wording of the letter was irrelevant because Buhari had done what was required of him by the constitution. He also quoted sect 145 of the Constitution On this note, Saraki ruled Ohuabunwa out of order.

Section 145 says, “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”

Below are reactions from Nigerians:

 Clem Clem
The letter specifically mentioned section 145 (1) of our constitution reproduced below.
People should read and educate themselves asap to avoid being educated illiterates.

In compliance with Section 145 (1)  of the 1999 Constitution as amended which says “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President”

Kush Bishop
Oga shut up...u can't confuse us with ur useless constitutional grammers of section and sub sections.......there is differences btw ""coordinating"' and acting president........will osinbajo sign any document as a coordinator? But he can sign any document as am acting coordinating ur powers are limited but as acting president ur power is unlimited... So go and learn english before u talk

Mr. Festus Okoye,  Kaduna lawyer and human rights activist, 
"There is no cause for alarm. There is no ambiguity in Section 145 (1) of the constitution as it has a     mandatory and automatic application. Once there is a written communication from Mr. President to the effect that he is going on leave or vacation, no matter whether it is stated in his letter expressly or not, the Vice President automatically becomes acting President. Saying he will coordinate the affairs of government, to me, goes to emphasise that he (Osinbajo) is absolutely and completely in charge of government, no encumbrance in the performance of his duty as acting President. I believe it is because of this kind of situation that the framers of the constitution, went further to add section 145 (2) in the constitution, which stated among other things that if for any reason, the President fails to transmit a letter, after 21 days, the National Assembly will make the Vice President, an acting President. We must learn to have faith in our constitution.”

Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN),
 "The National Assembly has the sole prerogative to accept or reject the president’s letter under section 145 of the Constitution, which referred to Osinbajo as “Coordinator of National Affairs”.
In that case, a needless constitutional crisis would have arisen, as a big vacuum in governance would have been created. In my humble opinion, in these times that try our souls, task our patience and sap our energy, matters like this are better left to lie low. There is nothing like “Coordinator of National Affairs” in the Constitution: That is a strange importation of an unknown term into our Constitution. “Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution specifically refers to ‘Acting President’, who ‘shall perform the functions of the President as Acting President whenever the president is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his.

Comrade O’Seun John, Director of Research and Publicity, Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED), a non-governmental organization,

 The designation of Osinbajo as “coordinator of national affairs” via the notice of medical vacation submitted to the National Assembly by Buhari is a desecration of the Office of the President and a complete aberration. The “cabal” within the Presidency is plotting to create confusion in the country by its continuous interference with the decision of the President. The new designation of Professor Osinbajo can only be interpreted to mean that President Buhari does not trust him enough to act as the President in his absence. With this reality, we are now forced to ask: who does President Buhari truly recognize as the Acting President? “

Mr. Monday Ubani second Vice President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA),
“Any wording outside what the constitution provides should be ignored. The constitution is supreme.”

Mr. Ugochukwu Ezekiel Abuja-based lawyer and rights activist, 
 What was in the president’s letter was an issue of semantics: My take is that the President has fulfilled the provisions of the Constitution as it affects the hand over to the Vice President in his absence as enshrined in Section 145 of the Constitution. The law is clear that once the law has sufficiently provided for a particular act, the use of language is mere semantics. Since the President mentioned the particular provision of the Constitution, the basis of which he transmitted the letter to the National Assembly, the Senate was right to have given effect to the letter of the President to confirm the Vice President as Acting President. We should be more serious in the affairs of our nation and should not play with semantics on issues of national importance.”

Sharon Faliya

1. The Vice Chancellor of a university COORDINATES the administration and activities of the University, and when he is away the Deputy VC coordinates!

2. The Principal of a secondary school COORDINATES the administration and activities of the school, and when he is away the Vice Principal coordinates!

3. Governors, and LGA Chairmen also COORDINATE every administrative activity of their states and local councils respectively, and when they are away their deputies coordinate!

4. So therefore, the President of a country COORDINATES the administrative activities of his country, and when he is away his Deputy or Vice coordinates!

To coordinate simply means to run a thing, or to organize, or to maintain.... So what's the big deal?

In any case, we once had a COORDINATING MINISTER OF THE ECONOMY who ran or helped in grounding our country's economy for six years, and we were cool with that! So what?

Vincent Omugbe
Sharon, why do you display your stupidity publicly? It is a pity that you don't know the difference between "acting" and "coordinating" Ngozi Okonjo Iweala coordinated the Nigerian economy and the entire world recognized her expertise. Don't condemn the good work of others because you don't like PDP. What you do to others have a way of coming back to you.

Samuel Okoronkwo
APC is national disgrace, trampled upon our constitution, made a mess of Democratic ideals and humiliated the office of the vice president and can still make a bold face to defend such political miasma they have created. .This is the worst administration in Nigeria post independent era.. Shame to APC and APC Tv. Shame

Abban Faysal
Simple English from the certificateless President given headache to PhD holders

Destiny Young
At least in my small educational level of understanding, the clause: " will coordinate the activities of government" implicitly means, "will manage the affairs of government" vis a vis the powers confers on him(Vice President) in my(Buhari's) absence, a per the constitutional provisions of Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

There is no ambiguity in this context, except that people have now decided to be unnecessarily apprehensive and create tension where there should be non. Is there "Coordinating President" in the said letter?

Prof Yemi Osinbajo is the Acting President. PERIOD!

Olumoko Oluwatosin
noise over nothing. whether coordinating or acting, someone is there and no matter how long we talk about, none of us will be paid or consulted on any issue. lets just focus on how to move our personal life forward. i rest my case.

Cyril Michael
In all, the most appropriate word is 'acting - not - coordinating.
Let us accept mistakes regardless of political, social, and education backgrounds.

Ali Gamaliel
Common sense is all about using the common language. In English, no two words that means the same thing. Use your your common sense Sharon. Idiot!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚