President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assigned Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to preside over the Federal Executive Council so as to attend to other official matters.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known after the weekly council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister’s clarification came on the heels of speculations that Buhari’s health prevented him from attending the meeting.
“Mr President was not in the chamber and the Vice-President did preside over the council meeting. Understandably that has sparked a lot of controversies and agitations in the minds of people.
“Now, I just want to make this clear. Mr President is in town; Mr President is attending to other issues; Mr President looked at the agenda, it was a very light agenda, and said that the Vice-President should preside.
“It’s not unusual for the kind of interest that had been shown especially giving the fact that Mr President was away for a while on medical treatment.
“Yes, we are not surprised that the people are wondering that `is Mr President ill again?’ he is not ill; he is not sick and I’m sure that later in the day or by tomorrow morning he will back in the office.
“It is not unusual even if the President is hale and hearty and everything is going well for the VP to come and preside over the Federal Executive Council,’’ he said.
Mohammed announced that already the president was meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, on national issues.
On the forthcoming two-year anniversary of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government, the minister disclosed that his ministry would soon roll out a comprehensive programme.
He said the programme would involve cabinet ministers to give stewardship of their respective ministries in the last two years.