The Oasis Reporters
July 05, 2017
Keeping Nigerians in the dark about the health status of the country’s president, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari who has remained sequestered in London has pushed a Nigerian pro-democracy group to demand that Senate President Bukola Saraki, in conjunction with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, direct the setting up of a medical panel to ascertain whether President Muhammadu Buhari is incapacitated, under the provisions of Section 144 sub-section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution.
The group has also demanded that the President address the nation via live video by Thursday or face the prospects of organized protests in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
In a statement signed by Convener Deji Adeyanju and Secretary John Danfulani, the group warned: “If the President is found with any infirmity that renders him incapable of discharging his duties, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall officially declare him incapable of discharging his duties and declare his office vacant as prescribed in subsection 2 of section 143.”
Pointing out that July 4th marks 58 days of Mr. Buhari’s absence from his office as President, and from the country on a medical vacation in the United Kingdom, the group observed that he has had almost no contact with Nigeria during the period, and made no public appearances.
“To this end, we urge President Buhari to address the nation via a live video on or before the 60th day of his absence,” it urged.
It further demanded that News organizations like AIT, Channels, Vanguard and Punch in addition to Sahara Reporters and Premium Times be present at the live event and in failing to do so, they “will begin a series of peaceful processions and mass actions across the country such as in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kaduna and also outside the country in London and New York aimed at sensitizing the public as to the legal & constitutional crisis created by President Buhari’s continued absence from office and the insistence of the cabal to shield him away from his constituents, the Nigerian people.”
“Concerned Nigerians” is a pro-democracy group committed to accountability, rule of law, good governance and the fight against corruption.
Nigerians will easily recall that a similar situation presented itself when former president Umaru Musa Yar’adua was away on a prolonged medical vacation abroad, less than three years after his swearing in. He was then flown in to the presidential palace from Saudi Arabia where he passed on and Goodluck Jonathan who was acting for him was Sworn in to complete his tenure in 2010.
Ironically, the current president, Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the position of the protesting pro democracy groups as he spoke on Freedom Radio, Kano and other media outlets, demanding that the then vice president Jonathan be sworn in since the constitution made no provisions for an “acting Presidency “.
He didn’t know that he would be president, five years after. Neither did he know that he would fall ill.
He and Yar’adua are from the same Katsina state in north western Nigeria, the arid Sahel region that shares a boundary with the French speaking Niger Republic to the north.
Legal analysts all over the country have been debating how long the President can be away from his duty post on vacation before his position can be declared vacant. The consensus is three months. Mr. Buhari was once away for two months and came back to Nigeria without attending any Federal Executive Council meeting before flying back to the UK and today, Wednesday July 5, 2017 marks his 59th day outside the country .
What will happen next?
Will he come in, resume and stay?
Or head back abroad again?
Although his Aso Rock clinic that attends to the president and his family, gulps more money in the country’s budget than all of Nigeria’s teaching hospitals combined. Yet he goes abroad for his medical treatments.