The group, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by Chief Edwin Clark (South-South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo (South-East) and Dr Pogu Bitrus (Middl-Belt), expressed doubts about the claims of the All Progressives Congress governors that all was well within the Presidency.
Against the backdrop of the removal of the VP as head of the government’s economic team and his replacement with an ad hoc committee by Buhari, the elder statesmen said Nigerians deserved to know what was going on in the government.
The forum said, “The office of the Vice-President today is definitely not what it was two weeks ago. Something is definitely wrong even when we cannot place our fingers on it yet.
“And this is because of the opaque handling of affairs of a supposed constitutional democracy and open society in a manner reminiscent of a kingdom where things are done according to the whims and caprices of the monarch.
“In order to preserve the unity of the country, therefore, we demand explanation on what is happening to Osinbajo from the Presidency and if no such is forthcoming, his functions should be restored.”
The SMBLF also expressed concern over the reticence of the Presidency on the allegations that Osinbajo received N90bn from the Federal Inland Revenue Service to fund the 2019 presidential elections.
“In this dispensation in particular, references would be made to the treatment of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen; former head of the civil service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and now Prof. Osinbajo on one hand, and Mr Abdulrasheed Maina of (defunct) Pension Reform Task Force; Prof Usman Yusuf of the National Health Insurance Scheme and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, on the other hand.
“We, therefore, demand a statement from the government on the weighty allegations or the government should cause an investigation to be initiated. We hold our breath until the public is properly briefed,” the forum said.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has denied endorsing corruption or exonerating anyone accused of corruption, insisting that it was not a court of law.
It explained that its Friday visit to Osinbajo was to hear his side of the story over the allegations against him, adding that there was no law against its action.