What is in a name?.

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet.

Reports are rife about the abortive call of Senator Eyinanya Abaribe (Abia South) and Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central) to have the Senate President declared Acting President because the VP / Acting President- Professor Yemi Osinbajo is briefly out of the country, while the President has been out for a while on medical grounds.

Many people have been calling these two men unpalatable names, with things brought to a ridiculous height of calling for their recall a la Dino Melaye.


The call could be seen as having some validity because certain duties of governance cannot be carried out without the correct title or nomenclature (the nomination of certain appointees of government, for example).

Are we saying the business of governance should stop (/pause) because the Number 1and 2 are unavailable? Remember that Jack Ma of the WeChat fame missed buying WhatsApp and lost out to Facebook because he was not available briefly(went for a back surgery). He didn’t delegate the negotiation, and that caused WeChat that deal, giving Facebook the opportunity to snatch that deal away from them ..

My view is that this call by these Senators is not out of place.

Senate President Bukola Saraki is the Number 3 citizen. There is no controversy about this.

When(ever) Number 1 (President Muhammad Buhari) & Number 2 (Professor Yemi Osinbajo ) are out of the country (as they are, now), Number 3 (Bukola Saraki) acts in their place.

Clearly, a country cannot remain headless (even briefly) due to the absence of the first two citizens, or can they?

I think this is simple enough to appreciate …

When President Muhammad Buhari was travelling out on medical vacation, he did not explicitly declare Professor Yemi Osinbajo Acting President.

Here are the exact wordings,

“In compliance with Section 145 {1) of the 1999 constitution as amended, I wish to inform the distinguished Senate that I will be away for a scheduled medical follow-up with my doctors in London.

“The length of my stay will be determined by the doctor’s advice.

While I am away, the vice president will coordinate the activities of the government.

Please accept the distinguished Senate president the assurances of my highest consideration.

The titular omission has not however stopped the VP bring addressed, and acting as Acting President

Unless the law states that ONLY a lengthy period (specific) of absence of the President / Vice President necessitates a formal declaration of a “next in command” as ‘Acting‘, then agitations are akin to making a dragon out of a salamander.

Whether there is a formal declaration as ‘Acting’ or not, the next in command ACTs..

And that’s the koko of the matter, not the title..

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