The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, on Wednesday advised politicians against politicising President Goodluck Jonathan’s trip to Brazil for the United Nations’ summit on sustainable development.
Maku gave the advice while fielding questions from State House Correspondents in Abuja.
He dismissed the insinuations in some quarters that the President’s trip to Brazil amounted to negligent of duties and insensitivity to the security challenges in the country.
According to him, President Jonathan can rule the country from any part of the world.
“We are running a democratic government in which it is the institutions that work and there is no vacuum for a single moment because the President is out of Nigeria, there is no vacuum.
''The Vice President is on ground with full constitutional power to act on things in coordination with the President, who reaches him on an hourly basis.
''Wherever he is, he is in touch with this country and he is working for this country. So, the President didn’t go on a holiday.
“The President is on a working visit to Brazil, he is not on holiday. He didn’t go to enjoy a holiday anywhere.
“He is actually on duty.”
He said that: “the Vice President of Nigeria effectively takes over the leadership when the president travels, because we are running a democracy, there is no vacuum on ground because he has constitutional powers to act.
“On Tuesday he (the Vice President) convened an emergency security meeting with Security Chiefs, if the President did not travel, the same people will condemn him for not doing so.”
Maku, therefore, warned against playing politics with the tragic situation in the north, urging the critics to come forward with practical solutions on how to tackle the security challenges bedeviling country.
“We should stop turning the tragedy in Northern Nigeria to politics. We are not being invaded by foreigners but it is our people killing themselves.
“The president has provided every leadership on this matter, let people make meaningful contribution on how to end this and not to play cheap politics and engage in political blackmail.
“For those turning this to politics, they should re-examine their level of patriotism to this country.”