2023: Grand plot by Presidency powerful clique for North to retain power uncovered
Details of a grand plot by a powerful clique in the Presidency to ensure that the North retains power in 2023 is beginning to emerge.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that part of the strategies is to completely erode the powers of the current vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in major policies and programmes of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the rest of his second term in office.
The clique is said to believe that it was necessary to curtail the rising profile of Osinbajo, by making him less powerful and less visible so as to prevent the current number two man from becoming a major obstacle to the 2023 presidency project.
Just on Monday, the presidency stripped the vice president of leading the economic team of the government, as President Buhari constituted a new one that will report directly to him.
Less than 24 hours after that, President Buhari ordered the dissolution of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), headed by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, who was also sacked from office.
The agency was initiated by the vice president when he was acting president, to complement the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari government.
Informed sources told the Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday that the well-knit agenda of the clique to undermine the mutual rotation of power between the North and the South had been set in motion.
Since 1999 when the country returned to civil rule, the arrangement has largely ensured that power interchanged between the two geopolitical divides.
According to sources, the arrowhead of the latest plot ahead of the 2023 presidency is an alter ego of the president.
Under the broad-based graduated agenda, the clique is seeking the consent of President Buhari to redeploy key advisers and aides to Osinbajo from the Presidential Villa, to whittle down his powers and other areas of influence.
Influential members of the clique were reportedly uncomfortable with what they perceived as the rising profile of Osinbajo as “hardworking and mobile,” which they believed must be quickly deactivated before it blossomed and encouraged other ambitious southerners in the race for the 2023 presidency.
Lately, some northern elements, including the vocal Senator Shehu Sani, have joined the fray in the advocacy for a president of the South-West extraction in 2023, in appreciation of the support of the zone for the Buhari presidency.
Some influential persons in the current federal administration are also said to favour the South producing the successor to Buhari.
The sources said all the key advisers and aides of Osinbajo with mandates spanning wide-ranging powers and functions may be redeployed to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government if the president consents to the plan.
While the proposal of the group was not categorical on the choice for the presidency, some members of the inner caucus tipped Kingibe as the preferred choice.
Already, there is disquiet in the Presidential Villa over a directive reportedly issued the vice president, asking him to seek “presidential approval” for decisions in agencies currently under his control.
Such bodies include the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Boundary Commission (NBC) and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA).
It was gathered that another influential politician from the South-West was also in the radar, as the cabal plans to clip his wings in the unfolding political dispensation.
A major highlight in the agenda of the clique is the recent establishment of the Ministry of Social Development, Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, as it is said to have been designed to take over the function of the Social Investment Programmes.
The vice president is credited with the initiative.
The thinking among the members of the clique is that with the Economic Management Team dissolved and the Social Investment Programmes consigned to history, the coast would be clear for the ultimate agenda of the North retaining power in 2023.