No debate on President Buhari’s vacation extension—Enang

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SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang
SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang

By Cecilia John

The Presidency has debunked insinuations by some Nigerians that the Senate may void President Mohammadu Buhari’s request for extension of his vacation period.

Mr Ita Enang, Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the situation did not need Senators’ debate as no resolution was required to approve the letter.

According to him, the senate does not need to sit to validate the letter.

Enang, who is a lawyer and former lawmaker, described insinuations as “unfounded’’.

The president had on Jan. 19, sent a letter to the senate, intimating it of his intention to proceed on a 10-day working vacation from Jan. 23 to Feb. 6.

He also intimated the senate that he would undergo some routine medical check-up within the period.

However, another letter was transmitted to the senate at the expiration of the 10-day period earlier requested, asking for an extension of the period to enable the president to complete the medical checks.

On Tuesday, the senate acknowledged receipt of the letter conveying the fresh request for extension but noted that no time frame was indicated.

Enang said that what was important was for the senate to be informed of the president’s intention.

“It doesn’t require a `yes’ or a `no’; it is to inform it.

“What is important is that there is a communication with the senate.

“Once the communication is received by the senate and the House of Representatives, through their respective presiding officers, that settles it,’’ the presidential aide said.

On non-specification of time frame needed by the president, he said “this question will not be answered until the senate sits.

“But, I want us to look at the Constitution because the Constitution says what should be done is notification.’’

He also said that no vacuum was created by the president’s absence as the Vice President was already piloting the affairs of the country in acting capacity.

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