By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, was put off for the sixth time in the life of the current administration.
The last time the meeting did not hold was on June 20, due to the Sallah Public Holiday but President Muhammadu Buhari used the day to sign the 2018 budget into law.
Although there has not been any official reason from the Presidency for not holding FEC this week, it was gathered that the meeting which was originally scheduled was cancelled late Tuesday night.
A presidency source who pleaded for anonymity as there was no authorization to speak on the matter, said that the meeting was cancelled because both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, were not in town.
President Buhari had rounded off a three-day visit to The Netherlands on Wednesday after meeting with Nigerian Embassy staff before departing home.
He was the only world leader invited to deliver a keynote address at Netherlands 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), at The Hague.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on the other hand, was in Sokoto over the recent killings and violent attacks on Gandi and Katsina where he condoled on behalf of the Federal Government with the people affected by the tragic flooding in Katsina State.
Osinbajo also commission the new ultra-modern BUA cement factory and 32MW power plant in Sokoto.
Osinbajo on Tuesday night made an unscheduled stop at the border town of Jibia in Katsina State, where 44 lives were lost following the rainstorms that wreaked havoc in the area on Monday.
A source also stated that the Vice President who stood in for the President at the 10th Summit by the Governing Council of the National Development Summit of Traditional Rulers, may have not been directed by President Buhari to chair the FEC, meeting.
The fifth council meeting was put off due to the public holiday declared by the federal government to celebrate the Sallah, marking the end of the Ramadan month.
On Wednesday, April 4, the meeting was put off due to the public holiday declared on March 30 and Monday, April 2 because of the Easter celebration.
Also on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, the meeting was put off due to what the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said was as a result of the participation of President Buhari and a significant number of ministers at the High-Level Meeting of the International Conference on Lake Chad Basin, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, for the better part of that day.
On August 23, 2017, the FEC meeting which was supposed to be President Buhari’s first after his 103-day medical vacation, did not hold.
This was to allow the Investigative Committee headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on allegations against the then suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, NIA, present its report to President Buhari.
The FEC meeting of September 6, 2017, was also cancelled due to what the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said was inadequate time to prepare the documents for the meeting.
The two day public holiday declared for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, he said had left little or no time to prepare for the weekly meeting.