By Benjamin Omoike
Following the raging discussion regarding the South-West as the Zone to produce the next President after President Buhari, there are strong indications that much touted cabal in the Presidency has perfected plans to reduce the growing influence of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ahead of the 2023 general election.
According to inside sources, it was gathered that the cabal is uncomfortable with the rising profile and influence of Osinbajo in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, and has decided to reduce the VP’s influence by restraining him from various policies and programmes, where the administration has direct impact on the majority of people in the country.
Displeased with Osinbajo for being one of the most influential elements in the Buhari-administration from the South, through his pro-people initiatives and empowerment progarmmes, which many Nigerians have commended, the cabal, it was learnt, has begun moves to cut him of any significant engagements with the Nigerian people.
Part of the moves, it was reliably gathered, was the sudden replacement of the Economic Monitoring Team, EMT, chaired by Osinbajo with Economic Advisory Council on Monday night. The new Economic Advisory Council will report directly to the President.
It is believed that part of the moves to ‘clip the growing wings’ of the VP was the creation of a new Ministry of Social Development, Humanitarian & Disaster Management, which is to take charge of many popular policies and programmes of the administration which Osinbajo supervises.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have expressed dismay over the unceremonious termination of the EMT composed of the VP, with several Ministers wondering the rationale for replacing same with a private sector Advisory Council.
In all these developments, many observers and analysts alike, see the hand of the cabal trying to take away the most popular and acclaimed programmes of the Buhari-administration from the VP.
Feelers from the Villa indicate that some notable politicians and governors close to the President are behind the move to pull down the VP and drive a wedge between him and the President as quickly as possible.
There are strong speculations that Buhari’s Chief of Staff, ABBA Kyari, is in collaboration with Babagana Kingibe, Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna, John Fayemi of Ekiti and Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, to take over power from Buhari in 2023.
To achieve this scheme, the team, it is alleged, concluded early that it was necessary to pull down the rising profile of the VP and drive a wedge between him and the President as quickly as possible.
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 the Cabal has somehow confused and blindsided the President to render his VP redundant.
What happens in the coming days will show how successful or not, the controversially powerful cabal really is, as it steps up on its suspected 2023 anti-South-West mission.