President Muhammadu Buhari was, yesterday, absent at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, currently holding at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
His Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo functioned in his place.
Addressing state house correspondents after the meeting, on the absence of the president, the minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that “Understandably, that has sparked a lot of speculations. I just want to make this clear, Mr. President is in town. Mr. President is attending to state issues. Mr. President looked at the agenda, it was a very light agenda and decided that the Vice President could preside.”
Apparently, Buhari’s non-appearance was a surprise to most of his ministers who had expected him to preside at the meeting.
Signs that he would presided over the meeting became conspicuous when a security operative in plain clothe stood behind the President’s seat to secure it.
Such had been the culture at the meeting and, indeed, any other function the President is billed to attend.
But by 11am when the FEC meeting was scheduled to commence, Osinbajo’s voice resonated from the background as he called for the National Anthem.
The development abruptly alerted most ministers who were hitherto exchanging pleasantries with one another to settle down for the day’s business.
Journalists were later excused from the meeting.
It will be recalled that the President since he returned from his medical trip on March 10, had been presiding over FEC meetings.
His last FEC meeting was last week Wednesday when he launched the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP.