Henry Umoru -Abuja
THE Presidency on Wednesday defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to inform the National Assembly about his intention to travel to the United Kingdom on a two-week private visit.
Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution provides for the President to transmit letters to the National Assembly about his intention to travel abroad and official handing over to the Vice President.
It reads: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”
But addressing journalists in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senate, Senator Babajide Omoworare said the non- transmission of the letter to the National Assembly did not in any way connote that the office of the Vice President has been relegated to the background.
He also said the President can rule the country from any part of the world.
Omoworare briefed journalists alongside his House of Representatives counterpart, Umar El-Yakub.
The Presidency also said that restoring the budget cycle does not determine its performance.
On the vice president, the duo of Omowarare and Umar El-Yakub described as untrue the alleged misunderstanding between the Offices of the President and Vice President.
According to Omoworare, the constitution permits the President to work from anywhere.
However, he was silent on why President Buhari failed to transmit a letter to the National Assembly, handing over responsibilities to Osinbajo.
He said: “Contrary to the claims by some individuals and groups, the President has not in any way undermined or relegated the office of the Vice President. He has no reason to do so.
“I don’t think there is any way or manner that the office of the Vice President has been relegated. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can work from anywhere he is in the world.”
The only case where people could raise issues is when a President is ill and was unable to communicate his absence to the National Assembly.”