Keyamo Questions Statement Uttered By Okowa, Says the Constitution Does Not Bar the VP From Dealing With Insecurity
Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has said the 1999 constitution does not in any way stop the Vice President from handling insecurity.
While speaking at the Nigeria Bar Association Conference recently, Vice Presidential candidate Kashim Shettimah was reported to have said if his party eventually emerges, he will be more focused on security, while Bola Tinubu, the APC Presidential candidate, will be more focused on the economy.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta Governor and Vice Presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, while reflecting on comment made by Shettimah, said it is absurd for a VP to be entrusted with the security of the country.
Okowa maintained that security is the core responsibility of the president, being the paramount and Grand Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He presides over the Security Council.
But while countering the PDP Vice Presidential Candidate, Keyamo said since the president is empowered to delegate any of his responsibilities to his VP, it will not be legally wrong for a VP to handle security.
“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.”