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Of apples and oranges


President Muhammadu Buhari

Sir: It was the German propagandist, Josef Goebbels who asserted that, tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth. Like the title of this piece which is about the incomparability of apples and oranges because they are never and cannot be the same no matter how hard, one tries.

Some persons out to misinform and assault the intelligence of Nigerians often adopt the short-cut of relaying only that aspect of where President Muhammadu Buhari called for the impeachment of the late President Umaru Yar Adua when he was abroad receiving medical treatment before his eventual demise just to justify their relentless attack on him for seeking medical treatment abroad.

For our collective information, this story has been in the public domain for long and a lot of commentaries on the true situation of what Buhari said then, which is very clear and understandable, are wrong just because mischief makers will not be tired. Thus it has become imperative for us to repeat and clarify issues.

The late Yar Adua, while embarking on his medical vacation never transmitted any letter to the National Assembly transferring powers to his then deputy, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as required by the constitution, thus a vacuum or abnormality was created.

To correct this unconstitutionality, it took public pressure through petitions, articles, protest marches and rallies before the National Assembly had to invoke the doctrine of necessity for power to be given to Jonathan, who became the acting president.

I repeat, Yar Adua breached the constitution by not handing over power to his deputy in line with the provisions of Section 145 of the 1999 constitution.

It was this violation of the constitution that necessitated then General Muhammadu Buhari, now the President, to make that statement attributed to him which was in line with the call and agitations of the people.

However, in the case of President Muhammadu Buhari, in embarking on his medical vacation, he fulfilled the constitutional requirements as stipulated in Section 145 of the 1999 constitution, by transferring power to Osinbajo.

While we acknowledge and respect the fact that those calling for the return to work or resign action of Mr. President are exercising their fundamental right of expression, it is our candid opinion that in advancing a position on issues, one must be responsible, civil and guided by the law, logic and rationality.

For their information, Nigeria operates a constitutional democracy.

Thus the mischievous attempt to compare the present case of Buhari to that of Yar Adua is akin to comparing apples to oranges which we all know are not and can never be the same.

Nelson Ekujumi.

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