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Keyamo replies Okowa, says ‘Shettima can attend to security matters if Tinubu is incapable’

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, says the 1999 Constitution allows the Vice President to address security challenges facing the country.

Recall that while speaking at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference, in Lagos State, recently, Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima, had said if his party wins next year’s general elections, he would focus on security, while Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, would concentrate on the economy.

But Shettima’s comment was rejected by many Nigerians including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who is also the Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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GovernorOkowa had said such a practise as being proposed by Shettima was ‘absurd.’

According to Governor Okowa, security matters were the responsibility of the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces who presides over the security council. 

But Keyamo, who is also a spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, faulted Governor Okowa’s position, saying Nigerian constitution does not stop the Vice President from handling security matters.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Mr. 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.

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 “I respectfully disagree, your Excellency. Under the 1999 Constitution, the President may assign any responsibility within his purview to either his VP or Ministers.

“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,” Keyamo wrote on his twitter page.