Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, says the 1999 constitution allows the vice-presidential to address security challenges facing the country
Speaking at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference in Lagos recently, Kashim Shettima, vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had said if his party wins, he will focus on security, while Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, will concentrate on the economy.
Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta and vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while reacting to Shettima’s comment, had said it would be “absurd” for a vice-president to take charge of the nation’s security.
According to Okowa, security matters are the responsibility of the president as the commander-in-chief who presides over the security council.
But Keyamo faulted the PDP vice-presidential candidate’s position, saying Nigerian constitution does not doesn’t stop the vice-president from handling security matters.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Keyamo noted that since the president can assign any responsibility to his deputy, it will not be absurd for a vice-president to handle security matters.
“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.”
2. It is possible, your Excellency, that in the well-known forward-thinking nature of @officialABAT, 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
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) August 31, 2022