The Minister of State for Labour and Employment who also doubles as the spokesperson for the Bola Tinubu presidential campaign organization, Festus Keyamo has stated that the Nigerian constitution allows the Vice President of the country to be in charge of security.
Keyamo made the claim on Wednesday in response to an earlier submission by the Delta State Governor and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa.
Naija News recalls Okowa had earlier on Wednesday slammed his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Kashim Shettima, over a statement about taking charge of security if the APC gets elected into power in 2023.
Shettima had famously while speaking last week at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference in Lagos said if the All Progressives Congress (APC) wins the 2023 election, he would focus on security while the party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu would focus on the economy.
The submission had drawn widespread reactions and adding his voice on Wednesday, Okowa said the move is absurd.
In his words, “I don’t want to talk about their policies. If the vice-president will take charge of security, is he (the president) not going to preside over the security council at the federal level?
“I don’t understand that. Because there is a commander-in-chief. Is there a reversal in position?”
“He can offer advice. But I’ll find it absurd that he speaks about: ‘I’ll take charge of it’. Possibly they have agreed that he’s to be the commander-in-chief.”
However, Keyamo has disagreed with Okowa, saying the constitution allows the President to delegate such roles to anyone qualified including the Vice President.
He added that such a person would be discharging the responsibilities assigned by the President and report back to the principal who has the responsibility of taking the final decision.
Taking to Twitter, Keyamo wrote: “I respectfully disagree, your Excellency. Under the 1999 Constitution, the President may assign any responsibility within his purview to either his VP or Ministers,” Keyamo wrote.
“This may include some aspects of security issues too. That is why, for instance, you have a Minister of Defence.
“It is possible, your Excellency, that in the well-known forward-thinking nature of Bola Tinubu, possible assignment of some responsibilities in this regard have been discussed with his VP-to-be & H.E Shettima just can’t wait to hit the ground running. This is not absurd, sir.
“When H.E Shettima says ‘taking charge’, it’s in the context of discharging responsibilities assigned to him by Bola Tinubu.
“But he will report back to his boss just as your principal Atiku Abubakar was reporting to Obasanjo since he wasn’t in a position to make any final decision.”
This article was originally published on Naija News