Today makes it 50 days since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country for the United Kingdom on a medical vacation, yet Nigerians still do not know the President’s ailment, the treatment he travelled for and when he will be back.
Some Nigerians, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, expressed dissatisfaction with the refusal of the Presidency to update citizens on the President’s health and treatment.
Those who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH, including the Yoruba Council of Elders, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Urhobo Progress Union, the Ijaw National Congress, prominent elder statesmen, professional and religious bodies, said Nigerians deserved to know exactly how their president is faring.
Speaking with one of our correspondents, the Secretary General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, who spoke on behalf of the elders, said the presidency should not have kept Nigerians in the dark over Buhari’s health. He said, “It is worrisome that Nigerians are kept in absolute darkness about the whereabouts and medical status of their president.
“We need periodic information about all these questions. This will keep Nigerians abreast (of developments) and make them sympathise with the president. What happens to the president of a country cannot be kept private or secret.”
The Pan-Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, also said it was wrong of the ‘cabal’ to keep Nigerians in the dark concerning Buhari’s health.
Reacting to Buhari’s prolonged absence and the secrecy surrounding his health, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, told one of our correspondents in Enugu that the silence of the President’s handlers had become a ‘security threat.’
Ibegbu said, “He (Buhari) is the president of the country, of all Nigerians, and not the president of the cabal. Moreover, he is being treated with taxpayers’ money. Nigerians are picking his bills by virtue of the fact that he is their president, so his state of health should be made known to all Nigerians.
“The silence and confusion surrounding Mr. President’s health is a security threat. It is generating tension and anxiety in the country and already you can see that some elements are capitalising on the situation to threaten public peace and security.
“Nigerians deserve to know the nature of the ailment and treatment he is undergoing, the hospital he is receiving treatment and when to expect him back in the country. Nigerians deserve to be kept abreast of these issues.
“In the same vein, if Mr. President is capable of talking, he should douse the tension by talking to Nigerians from wherever he is and tell us his exact condition of health. We don’t want a repeat of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s scenario.”
The National Coordinator of the Yoruba Progressive Movement, Oladosu Oladapo, called on the Senate to be alive to its responsibility of taking necessary action to ascertain the President’s ability to continue in office after a certain period of absence.
He said, “The constitution is clear on all issues that are causing apprehension among Nigerians. That is why we have the vice president and the constitution empowers him to act in the president’s absence.
“The maximum (period) that he (president) can stay out of office in this case is 60 days, after which the Senate can make necessary moves to ascertain the president’s condition.” Read in full from source