Why the office of the chief of staff is Supreme to the office of vice president – Lawmaker Akin Alabi
The honorable member of house of Representatives representing Egbeda/Ona federal constituency in Oyo state, Akin Alabi has put some light to the trending discourse in the National arena that the chief of staff, Abba Kyari is more supreme than the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
The lawmaker joined his opinion to the trending argument of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari travelled with a bill to London for Buhari’s assent.
Alabi stated clearly that in a presidential system of government as practiced in Nigeria, the position of the Chief of Staff is more powerful than that of the Vice President, adding further that the Chief of Staff is the assistant President while the office of the vice president comes to action mostly in the absence of the President.
In the lawmaker’s tweet, he said that the Vice President is “merely a stand-in for the president.”
“Whether you like it or not, in a presidential system of government (eg, US, Nigeria), the post of the Chief of Staff is more “powerful” than that of the Vice President. He is the assistant President. The Vice President is a stand-in for the president.”
“It is NOT the duty of the Vice President to take a bill to the president. It’s the job of an assistant. Like the Chief of Staff.”
“The Vice President has been excellent performing his constitutional duties and the ones assigned to him.”
“If the President decides NOT to see Vice President Osinbajo as a PA, which I don’t think he should, then I’m 100% in support of that.”
“I understand the political agenda of the noisemakers but anyone ready to learn should learn.”
“I don’t know whether there are problems between the Chief of Staff and the Vice President. Maybe there is. It’s politics and it happens everywhere. But with this bill signing issue, there is nothing out of the ordinary for the Chief of staff to bring a document for the president.”
His clarification sprouted some reaction.
Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria said said the office of the chief of staff was unknown to Nigerian law, the matter has no weight.”
“The chief of staff is the head of the President’s personal staff. But our Constitution in Nigeria is different from other countries.”
“The Supreme Court has held that the vice-president runs on the same ticket with the President and can act on his behalf when the President is not available.”
“The second point is that the vice-president enjoys the mandate of the people through the ballot and can only be removed as recommended by the Constitution, while the chief of staff can be sacked at any time.”
“Elevating a chief of staff above the vice-president is an aberration.”
“What is playing out in Nigeria presently is an unfortunate development on how our system is being bastardised, where a bill is taken to the President in London to sign a law for Nigerians.”
“I think it is important for the President not to operate as an offshore leader.”
The legal adviser urged on the President to surround himself with good legal advisers so as not to undermine the Nigerian Constitution.