The Presidency on Wednesday said the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council did not hold because of the Easter holidays.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interview with reporters when it became clear that the meeting would not hold.
The Federal Government had declared last Friday as public holiday to mark Good Friday and Monday was declared as holiday to mark Easter Monday.
Shehu said the two-day holiday made it difficult for members of the council’s secretariat to make memos available to ministers two or three days ahead of meeting days as it is the norm.
The presidential spokesman said, “The staff on the council secretariat resumed on Tuesday after the Easter holidays.
“There was no time to prepare and circulate memos to ministers.
“By practice, the ministers receive council memos two or three days ahead of meetings because they must read them and sometimes undertake research.
“It is not a rubber stamp council, so everyone must prepare themselves well for debates.”
The FEC which has Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, all ministers and some top presidential aides as members is chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Members meet weekly inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.
Journalists who rushed to the Presidential Villa early enough on Wednesday to witness the opening of the meeting were disappointed when they discovered that the meeting would not hold.
Insiders said the meeting was not slated on the President’s schedule for the week at all.
Buhari was absent at the last week’s meeting, fueling speculation that his health had deteriorated.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the President was hale and hearty, the same claim he made many times while the President on medical vacation in the United Kindom.
A lie was however put to the claim when Buhari himself admitted when he returned to the country on March 10 that he had never been this sick in his life.
He told top government officials who were on hand to receive him that he had to undergo blood transfusion, going in and out of laboratory.
The President also dropped a hint then that he would return to UK within weeks for follow-up.
When Buhari was absent at the last meeting, Mohammed had told journalists then that Buhari decided to yield the stage for Osinbajo to preside over the meeting having gone through the agenda.
Source : Punch