By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Again, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday stayed away from the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Similarly, over 20 out of 36 Ministers were equally absent at the meeting.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting.
The Opening preliminaries of Wednesday’s meeting were not short of what played out penultimate Wednesday when the already seated Osinbajo and the Ministers who were expectant of the President, appearing to preside over the meeting got disappointed following Buhari failure to show up.
On the same vein, the meeting did not hold last week.
Officials later attributed that to the Easter holiday.
Meanwhile, all expectations that the president would attend yesterday’s edition that featured the acting Secretary to the Government of Federation, SGF, Dr. Habibat Lawan also failed.
At exactly 11 am, Osinbajo got whispers from the State Chief of Protocol, SCOP and thereafter called for the National Anthem and opening prayers, signalling the commencement of the meeting.
Journalists were later excused from the meeting which got underway.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that lasted only for two hours, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the president couldn’t attend because he needed some rest at home.
Mohammed added that the President has requested that all the files on his table be brought to him, saying he would be working from home.
He said: “We just concluded the Federal Executive Council meeting, I’m sure you noticed that the President was not there. He was not there because he asked that he be allowed to rest and asked the VP to preside.
“And he will be working from home. He has asked all his files to be taken to him in the house. He will be working from home today”.
The Minister also repeated the same to Vanguard which sought more clarification in an exclusive interview.
“He was not in that meeting because the President sent word that he wanted to rest and he wanted the VP to preside over and he asked for all his files to be brought back to him that he will be working from the house”.
Told that there was an air of surprise back in the hall when the Vice President called for the recitation of the national anthem, Mohammed said “that’s your own opinion”.
Also asked whether the government would formally apologize to The Punch Newspaper over the “sack” of its State House correspondent, Mr. Olalekan Adetayo from the Presidential Villa as demanded by the organization, the Minister said that the steps already taken by the Presidential Media aides should suffice.
“I think we should blow a matter out of proportion. The special adviser to the president on Media, Mr. Adesina immediately took a step that reversed that. I think that is proof enough that this government is not about stifling the press.
“You forget it is the same administration that restored the pass of Dutchewalle Reporter. I am happy with what the media aides have done. I think that settles it”, he said.