Group tasks National Assembly on Buhari’s health status
A group of prominent Nigerians comprising politicians, lawyers, administrators and businessmen has charged the National Assembly to do the needful by investigating the health condition of President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to determining his suitability to remain in office.
The personalities under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Nigerians (CCN) specifically asked the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to write the lawmakers to request a medical examination of Buhari to know whether he should continue in office.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the CCN said that having spent 114 days out of the first 180 days of the year on medical examination, President Buhari’s suitability to continue in office had turned into an issue.
The statement issued on behalf of the group was signed by Alhaji Tanko Yunusa, chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP); Mr. Ikechukwu Ikeji, lawyer and social activist; Mr. Ken Okolugbo, activist and former commissioner in the Delta State Oil Producing Commission, DESOPADEC; Mr. Turner Ogboru, lawyer and businessman and Engr. Bala Zakkar, a chartered accountant and public affairs analyst.
The group also asked tasaked the National Assembly to amend the constitution to remove the power to initiate investigation into the health of the president from the FEC and to also put a limit to the duration a president or governor can go on medical vacation.
The statement reads, “The issue of today is the current state of health of our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the delicate and desperate attempt to hide the true state of affairs regarding the President from Nigerians who voted him into power and to whom is owed a genuine level of transparency as a fundamental element of good governance the present Federal Government promised Nigerians.
“We start off with saying without equivocation that we wish the President quick recovery and pray for God’s abiding strength to help him navigate the affairs of the Nation.
“What Nigerians have experienced in the last six months regarding the President’s health has become very worrisome. There is a gradual drift of conflict as to who is indeed is in control of the levers of presidential powers presently.
“We are effectively living in a situation where we have two Presidents, one substantive the other Acting, no thanks to the lacuna created by the Constitution of Nigeria. This is wrong and the only thing needed for wrong to flourish is for good people to do or say nothing. We think it is wrong for us to keep quiet.
“Over the last six months, the President has been out of the country for a total of at least 124 days and still counting. This is exclusive of the days he failed to attend meetings of the Executive Council of the Federation without sufficient explanation. Our worry is as to the exact nature of the President’s health and the fact that this has been kept secret from Nigerians who pay his medical bills and who are entitled to know the state of health of their President.
“This situation is unprecedented. When Yar’Adua took ill, the nature of his sickness was disclosed to Nigerians. And when Yar;Adua stayed away from Nigeria for 79 days, it was the present President, Muhammadu Buhari who called on Yar’Adua to resign or be impeached by the National Assembly. The chicken has come home to roost and it is now the turn of President Buhari to walk his talk. While we are not here calling for his resignation or impeachment, we are insistent that the nature and cause of his sickness be disclosed to Nigerians.
“We have noticed that there are certain elements of governance that have been on hold as a result of the absence of the President. An example is the conflicting statements emanating from the Acting President and the Attorney General of the Federation on the powers of the Senate to confirm federal appointees.
“The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended is not helpful to the present state of things. While we acknowledge that the President complied with the provisions of Section 145 of the Constitution, as amended in transmitting the required letter to the National Assembly and transferring power to the Acting President, we are convinced that the handlers of the President are taking advantage of the lacuna in the said section of the Constitution which did not place a time frame within which the President can stay away. This also affects Governors of the State. So, everything we say here also applies to Governors of the States.”
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