Following disquiet in some quarters over the non-participation of Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo at different security meetings held by President Muhammadu Buhari since assumption of office, informed security sources have on Thursday explained the rationale behind the development.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday June 2, 2015, Buhari met with the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu; Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The meeting held at the Defence House in Abuja..
Miffed by the development, a number of media houses reported that Osinbajo was ‘locked out’ of the meeting on the orders of the President.
Ten days after, the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to comment on why Osinbajo didn’t attend the meeting.
Again, on Wednesday June 10, the President met behind closed doors with the NSA and some security chiefs ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja.
Osinbajo was no where around Defence House, venue of the meeting.
Speaking on reactions trailing Osinbajo’s absence, our source said the VP may not be granted access to such meetings soon.
The source who is well-connected to many Security agencies and their top echelons reminded those accusing Buhari of sidelining the Vice President that Osinbajo is a legal luminary, not a security expert.
His words: “I am sure he would have been invited if he had security background. Being a Professor of Law is fine, but in terms of intelligence and access to security information, you are no where near the rank of Colonel or equivalent in the Nigeria Military.”
“Now, we have someone who has been in luxury virtually all his life, attaining the position of VP and some people are clamouring for his presence in highly sensitive talks.
“The truth is that the military hierarchy would not even feel comfortable saying some things in his presence.
“I can tell you that they respect Prof Osinbajo as VP, but they cannot trust him with information yet.”
“You cannot compare him to Buhari who served in many military roles, chased away a militia that was threatening Nigeria security, overthrew a military government, became Head of State, fought corruption and went ahead to instill discipline among a stubborn citizenry.”
Asked if Osinbajo would continue to stay back and watch, the source responded: “He would be brought in but not now.”
“The VP would have to go through what is called ‘Stimulation’. This is a process where he is lectured on terms, dealings, operations etc of the military.”
“His inner strength, strong heart and ability to keep things to himself will first be put to test before he gets access to some classified materials and information.”
On possibility of politics being a reason why Osinbajo has not been part of the security meetings, the source said such cannot be ruled out.
“We must understand the fact that Osinbajo was a candidate promoted by Bola Tinubu (ex-Lagos Governor), he was not handpicked by Buhari.
“If the President had picked a vice, it is likely that such individual may get the access Osinbajo isn’t getting now.
“Everyone knows the VP has been loyal to Tinubu for decades and he cannot swear that he would not divulge details of these security meetings to his political godfather.
“So he has to earn it. Tinubu may have used his influence to put him in this position but he must draw a line between blind loyalty and national duty.”