The Yoruba World Congress has said that the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, hijacked government as de facto president when he was alive.
The group in a statement by its leader and President-General, Prof Banjo Akintoye, wondered why ministers, ambassadors, state governors, National Assembly members and even the Vice President should be subjected to the absurdity of going through the Chief of Staff to see the President.
Prof Akintoye said Kyari’s unconstitutional position had shown that Nigeria was being run as a banana republic.
The statement reads, “Garba Shehu said that the fact that Abba Kyari passed away does not mean that there is a vacuum in the government of Nigeria; that though Abba Kyari had been away for one month before he died, yet the job of government had not stopped; that there is a structure in place to ensure continuity, even though it is the President's eventual responsibility to decide who takes over from Abba Kyari.
“Our position is that Nigeria is being run as a banana republic, a country in which the structure of government depends on the whims and caprices of the leader of the government.
“This is outrageous and unacceptable should stop immediately. Nigeria is a fully constitutional republic in which the structure of government is laid down by the constitution.
“Therefore, it is outrageous and unacceptable that constitutionally provided for and constitutionally appointed office holders should under any circumstances be subjected to the absurdity of having to go through the Chief of Staff to see the President.
“A Chief of Staff is no more than the head of the President's kitchen cabinet, the President’s own personal collection of personal staff that has no superiority to the structural pillars established by the constitution of Nigeria.
“Abba Kyari’s unconstitutional position as de facto president in recent times, coupled with an elected President who is periodically nowhere to be found, has seriously denuded the legitimacy of government in our country.
“It represents the ultimate manifestation of the seizure of government by a cabal belonging to a small section of our country, an unconstitutional seizure of government that is being effected and perpetuated by impunity, and by spiteful disregard of the respect due to the other sections and nationalities of our country who together constitute the majority in our country.
“We the majority of Nigerians have watched with shock and pain, and other nations of the world have been looking at us with total disbelief and pity as our country has been run like the personal estate of a small cabal.
“We have a Vice President who has been boxed into a disrespectful corner simply because he does not belong to the self-appointed owners of our country.”