Presidency Hails Senate for Supporting Buhari’s Medical Vacation

Sabi Abdullahi

Says protest a ploy to derail war against corruption Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja with agency report

The presidency has commended the Senate for its stance that President Muhammadu Buhari has not violated the law.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, said this in a statement signed by his spokesman, Dr. Sabi Abdullahi, in Abuja friday.

Enang, who was fielding questions from journalists after an interactive session with law students from Akwa Ibom State who visited him in his office, described the Senate’s position as commendable and constitutional.

Enang made the statement while reacting to protests by a coalition of civil society organisations under the aegis of Resume or Resign, Our Mumu don du, and others who are demanding that Buhari should resumes duty or resign if incapacitated.

He maintained that Buhari had broken no law as he complied with the provisions of the nation’s constitution which stipulateds that he must handover to the vice president and duly inform the two chambers of the legislature about his medical vacation.

According to him, the National Assembly is satisfied that the president’s absence left no vacuum, and therefore cautioned protesters against creating unnecessary tension in the country.

“The stance of the Senate is very patriotic; very commendable and very constitutional.
“The Senate has always stood upright on matters of national interest, and whenever there is objection or anything that the Senate has objection to, we look at it maturely and amicably and in this particular situation, as in most other situations I commend the senate.
“We thank the Senate for the stabilising statement and for the position they have taken because it is the position of the law of the constitution,’’ he stated.

The presidential aide said the president was entitled under the constitution to go on medical vacation, saying Buhari had already complied with all relevant sections of the nation’s constitution.

“The president is entitled to, under the constitution, transmit formal letter to the Senate and House of Representatives informing them of his vacation and, until he returns and transmits another letter, the acting president is still in charge and there is no vacuum in the seat of power.

“So all actions of the government like that of the executive, legislature and the judiciary are going on and nothing is affected adversely by the vacation of the President since there is no vacuum in the country,’’ he added.

Also, the presidency yesterday said attempts to derail the war against corruption, using subterfuge and bluff would not succeed.
The remark was made when members of the Centre for Civil Society and Justice (CCSJ), a civil society coalition staged a counter-protest against ‘Our Mumu Don Do’ protesters led by Charles Oputa, who have been calling for the return or resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari at the precincts of Aso Rock Villa.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the ‘return or resign’ agitation was an illegal assembly stealthily organised to deliver a body blow to the war against corruption.

“It might be taken for granted that the beneficiaries of the old order are fighting back. We have been warned that corruption will fight back. In a country where just one woman for having the opportunity to serve as minister has N47.2 billion and $487.5 million of public resources in cash and property traced to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), you don’t expect the beneficiaries of that order to allow the Buhari administration some peace. They want to distract us. But what the presidency wants to assure patriotic citizens is that the government will not bend.

“As far the president is concerned, he has done the needful by handing the reins of authority to the vice president. Since the law of the country does not give a time limit for the president’s return, it cannot be imposed by a saber-rattling musician.”

Shehu commended the CCSJ for being orderly in its demonstration and urged them to shun all provocations by opponents of government.
Speaking on behalf of the demonstrators, the convener, Goodluck Obi, who said his group had absolute faith and trust in Buhari’s administration, added that his group would sustain the protest at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, for one month.

“We are saying from today, August 10, 2017, we will be holding a rally/protest march here at Unity Fountain for the next one month and beyond in order to send clear and unambiguous message to agents of chaos and disunity that Nigerians are solidly behind President Buhari’s administration based on our democratic mandate entrusted to him on March 28, 2015,” he said.

Many youths yesterday hit the streets of Abuja and marched to Unity Fountain to denounce Charlie Boy’s group which has been calling on President M Buhari to return or resign.

The placard carrying pro-Buhari protesters kicked against what they described as rented group which is trying to undermine the peace in Nigeria.

They said those anti-Buhari protesters were agents of corruption and had no reasons to clamour for Buhari’s return because there is no vaccum in governance.

A group, ‘OurMuMuDonDo,’led by Mr. Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charlie Boy, on Monday began an indefinite sit-out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, demanding Buhari’s resumption of work or resignation.
The Senate has also denounced the protest.

The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), Enugu State chapter, yesterday rose in defence of President Buhari over his long medical vacation in London, insisting that the president had not violated any known law.

The group therefore berated those behind the resume-or-resign protests led by music star, Charley Boy, and other celebrities under the aegis of ‘Our Mumu Don Do’, stressing that rather than attack the president, the protesters should redirect their protests to the appropriate quarters.

Chairman of BSO in the state, Chief Anike Nwoga, who spoke to journalists in Enugu declared that the president met all the constitutional requirements before embarking on the trip to the United Kingdom.

He said the protesters should redirect their attention to the National Assembly, where a loan proposal of $30 billion by the president to get the nation out of recession has been gathering dust, describing the protests against the Buhari as needless.

“We are of the candid view that whereas our brother Charley Boy and his group have the inalienable rights to assemble and protest as provided by the 1999 Constitution, and the police have no business to attack them tear gas, however, they should redirect their energy in appealing to the National Assembly that sat for over one year on $29.9 billion procured by President Buhari for the development of our deficit critical infrastructure.

“Enugu State chapter of the BSO believes sincerely that the hunger, gross unemployment and abject poverty ravaging our dear country

  • Seton During

    The President with The Presidency with The Senate and The HOUSE are not progressing our ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY because they have not:-
    2. The have not both publicised members of the protected illicit parallel Government of Nigeria
    titled “THE CABAL” who only they know!
    3. They have not stopped illicit financial outflows from NIGERIA – tracked and traced the sources! This is an aspect President Donal Trump of The USA can helpfully impact – what do you think?
    4. They have not ensured that all taxable incomes are taxed.
    5. They have not stopped inflated Federal Budgetary allocations to Ministry/Department of
    Defence which are the misappropriated into the private pockets selected members and non-
    members of “THE CABAL”!
    6. They have not identified and prosecuted all ghost workers scams/scammers because of alleged
    conflict of interest
    7. ETC.

  • Daniel Obior

    The Presidency and the Senate are birds of the same feather, with respect to this issue. Again, the issue is not about whether a law is broken or not. It is about doing the right thing morally and patriotically. The citizens did not vote to have an absentee president, neither does the country need or desire one. It is unpatriotic for Buhari, the Presidency and the Legislators to continue to force an absentee president on the country and her people. Buhari should resign and devote his time to taking care of his health.

    • speechtherapy

      Bros, much as I agree with your sentiment, I disagree that the issue is a moral one, it is indeed a constitutional one and no amount of misdirection by this charlatans in office should confuse us.
      The constitution under section 144 clearly spells out the scenarios through which the President or his Vice can be removed from office, one of which is incapacitation.

      I posit that if :

      1. The President has refused to make known his medical condition for independent verification, he is at the very least guilty of obstruction or suppression of material facts by which the FEC and National Assembly may make a clear determination on his ability to continue in office or for that matter, his incapacitation.

      2. The fact that the President transmitted power and whether he is incapacitated and should be relieved of power with all state courtesies removed from him as a sitting President, should not be confused together as the same issue as this administration is trying so desperately to do. This is deceitful and is only working because our populace is for the most part unexposed and illiterate.

      3. It is absolute rubbish to fall for this silly blackmail that anytime the people demand accountability from Buhari, they are corrupt or fighting back on behalf of corruption. This rubbish should not be countenanced at all.

      My apologies for the long commentary but we must not let this charade continue if we want our country to come out of the mess in which we now find ourselves.

      • Daniel Obior

        Could not agree more. Thanks.

    • Always putting the cart behind the horse. Morality and politics don’t mix. In law amassing wealth which is immoral, is not an offense. Immorality in politics is a norm.
      Let’s duel on what the law says and stop beating about the bushes.

      • Daniel Obior

        First of all, you are dead wrong. Morality and politics do mix in sane societies where presidents resign on moral and patriotic grounds even when no law is broken. That is what is called dignity, which Buhari deos not seem to have. In this case, the law is even being broken, taking the argument advanced by speechtherapy, as above. It appears your own cart is on top of your horse.