BY May Ubeku
WHEN news of the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ayo Oke by the presidency broke midday Wednesday, like many Nigerians, I was also astonished.
Wasn’t it the same Babachir Lawal that was cleared by the presidency months back? Lawal’s suspension is a welcome development. It is long overdue; Nigerians reacted as they expressed their views on call-in radio programmes as well as on the social media.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman had announced Lawal’s suspension over the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) and Ayo Oke, DG of NIA, over monies recovered from a private residence in Ikoyi, Lagos state, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Minutes after Lawal’s suspension was announced, when accosted by journalists to speak on the issue of his suspension by the presidency, Lawal barked; “Who is the presidency?”
Who is the presidency? It takes a man who knows his principal is not in charge to have suspended him to ask such a daring question. Who then suspended Babachir Lawal?
It would be recalled that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki who was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja last year over alleged forgery of senate standing rules, once said, that there is a cabal that operates on behalf of President Buhari and that the president is unaware of its existence in his government.
“It has become clear that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari that have seized the apparatus of executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda”, he (Saraki) had said then.
Who is this government within the Buhari government? In Lawal’s words, who is the presidency?
During Buhari’s medical trip to London, a press statement emanated from the president stating in clear terms that the senate didn’t give the SGF fair hearing and gave reasons why he could not suspend Lawal as demanded by the Senate. Why would the presidency that absolved Lawal’s grass-cutting saga in February, suspend him in April? Didn’t the presidency investigate before sending a letter absolving Lawal to the senate? Which presidency cleared him? Which presidency suspended him? Who is the presidency? It is clear that aside the presidency of President Buhari, another presidency does exist in his government.
This is why, Lawal cannot fathom why the presidency that defended him two months ago, suspend him yesterday.
Who indeed is the presidency?
To be continued.