Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday disclosed that when President Buhari was on Medical vacation in the UK, he jokingly told him that if he, Buhari, dropped dead, he would still have to run the government. Osinbajo said President Buhari made the joke when he called him to brief him on how he was running the country in his capacity as Acting President.
‘I remember when he was on medical vacation, and I was speaking to him on the phone fairly regularly and giving him a rundown of what was going on, especially when he was on the first medical vacation. He said to me, “don’t worry about telling me all that is happening, I rely on your judgment keep doing your best, what if I drop dead?! You would have to run it anyway.” I had to say to him, that his dropping dead was not part of the plan’ he said
He also spoke on President Buhari’s prudency.
‘Some things have not been included in the book and I might just supply some of that. One of such things, is the exemplary frugality, the honesty and humility, and sense of humour of Mr. President. That frugality can sometimes be a problem, as you know, Mr. President decided that since government provides accommodation, food and transportation for the President and the Vice President, we didn’t need a full salary. Now how much is this salary by the way? It is public knowledge and I think it is N1, 750,000.00 or so, which is under N2million. He said he would take only half of his salary and so I had no choice but also to take over of my own salary. Unfortunately Mr. President turned down my request, to give the other half to a worthy cause – his Vice President. He didn’t consider me a more worthy cause to give half of his salary! (Laughter). In a country where politicians sometimes want to be as wealthy as Dangote, it is refreshing to have a President who most people won’t even dare to discuss any private benefit on a project let alone a bribe or a kick-back. Nigeria’s major problem is corruption, it is the main reason for the depletion of our resources, such that we had no savings when oil prices fell, and we were losing over 1billion barrels a day. It was the prudence and honesty of the President that ensured that despite the economic downturn, we were able to support the States, spend N1.3trillion on capital expenditure, the largest in the history of the nation, and also to ensure we met all our other obligations, both foreign and local. Mr President’s unassuming personality and humility, is in my view, probably his greatest strength. This is why he is never flattered, or carried away by praise or adulation. He has always said: “I don’t pretend to know all the answers. I am here to provide stability and leadership, to a generation, a group of people, determined to run this country honestly, to provide jobs and prosperity to the poor, and our huge youth population.” he said