From within Aso Rock, words got out on Friday that the powerful cabal around President Muhammadu Buhari has concluded on forcing embattled Vice President Yemi Osinbajo out of office.
Despite the fog of uncertainty surrounding the fate of Osinbajo, nothing concrete is yet be traced to the President regarding the future of his deputy with whom he had shared a warm relationship since their joint victory in 2015.
But the president’s men are said to be unrelenting in their pursuit of an agenda reportedly aimed at abruptly ending Osinbajo’s presidential sojourn.
Amidst all these, the vice president, on Friday, in Ekiti State, accused insiders whom he described as fifth columnists of working against the interest of the government.
In the weeks ahead, one major battle Osinbajo may have to fight is preventing corruption tar from leeching on him as allegations of corrupt handling of government agencies under him may soon hit the airwaves.
To a devastating effect, the administration has employed the anti-corruption campaign to uproot perceived enemies within the government.
Apart from Walter Onnoghen who was sacked from office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria for alleged failure to declare five domiciliary accounts belonging to him in his asset declaration form, the immediate past Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, was also relieved of her position on Thursday over an alleged corruption probe.
Aftermath her open clash with the powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, at the Executive Chamber in the Presidential Villa over the controversial return to office of fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina of the infamous Pensiongate, many within the system were counting days for her before being sent packing.
It was also predicted that allegations of corruption would be used in getting rid of her.
Both predictions came to pass and were accurate.
Maina, a former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension, who fled the country and was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was smuggled back into the country and into the civil service in October 2017, triggering a national outcry.
On camera, an incensed Oyo-Ita was seen wagging her fingers in the face of an equally angry Kyari.
Both eventually made up before the camera.
With the sack of a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, Kyari is believed to be the face of the Presidency cabal, though two other powerful figures (names withheld) not in government are also said to call major shots.
Search for replacement
Beyond the drama of the past week within the presidency, which has seen Osinbajo in the eye of the storm regarding his continued relevance in the administration’s second term in office, Saturday Tribune was informed by a well-placed Villa source that names were already coming up as possible replacement for the vice president.
Topping the list of those being considered is said to be a popular pastor for what is deemed an appropriate replacement and balancing.
Osinbajo, aside from being a Christian, is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and an ally of the denomination’s influential General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
Although other names are reportedly being bandied as his possible replacement, the said pastor appears to fulfill all the requirements, being also a Christian, a popular pastor and equally from the south-western part of the country like the vice president.
It was further learnt that those who want to see the back of Osinbajo are considering two major exit strategies: either his forceful resignation or impeachment through the National Assembly.