The Presidency on Sunday denied the cancellation of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s planned trip to India for fear that the embattled President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, may become acting President.
An online news medium, Sahara Reporters, had reported that Osinbajo’s planned trip was cancelled when it was discovered that President Muhammadu Buhari would also be out of the country at the time.
The report had insinuated that the Vice-President’s trip was called off in order to ensure that Saraki, who is the third in hierarchy in the country, did not emerge acting President in the absence of Buhari and Osinbajo.
A source in the Presidency, said, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that it was an unwritten rule that the President and Vice President could not be outside the country at the same time.
The source said it was wrong to think that cancelling Osinbajo’s trip had anything to do with Saraki, adding that the unwritten rule preceded the present administration.
Besides, he said if he had embarked on the trip, the Vice-President would have returned to Nigeria latest by Wednesday, stating that Buhari, who is travelling to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, is scheduled to return on Tuesday.
“If the President is travelling on Monday and will return on Tuesday, how many hours are you expecting Saraki to begin to wield the powers of a President?” he said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, told journalists that there was no truth in the report that the Indian trip was cancelled.
Akande said, “Nigeria has been invited to the Indian/African Summit and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment will be leading a delegation to the event.
“There is nothing like cancellation. Remember that the visit of the Vice-President to any country is not treated in secrecy.
“Whenever the Vice-President is to travel out of the country, we inform Nigerians. So, this story in question is a bunch of speculation. There is no cancellation.”