â€¢ Ndume: President is not incapacitated
Michael Olugbode in Abuja and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the â€œcabalâ€ in the presidency are in a dilemma as to whether to bring President Muhammadu Buhari back to the country with his present condition or leave him in London.
He also alleged that the president had become bad business for the cabal that imposed him on Nigerians.
Fayose, who in a statement Monday from his media aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, insisted that Nigerians must be told the truth about the presidentâ€™s health, further recalled: â€œI told Nigerians then that President Buhari was a black market packaged by the APC cabal that was only interested in seizing power by whatever means and now, I have been vindicated.â€
He added: â€œFor a president who has spent 113 days abroad taking care of his health out of the 191 days in 2017, it is time for Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be invoked.
â€œPresident Buhari left Nigeria for London on May 7, 2017, and today is July 10, 2017, 64 clears days since Nigerians saw their president or heard anything from him. Even the presidentâ€™s handlers are keeping Nigerians in the dark.
â€œEven though the number of days that a president can spend outside the country is not specified in the 1999 Constitution, the makers of the laws of Nigeria envisaged this kind of situation and made provisions for how to resolve it in Section 144.
â€œIt has, therefore, become pertinent that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) must invoke Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution by passing a resolution declaring that President Buhari is incapable of discharging the functions of his office.â€
Fayose, who insisted that he was not interested in the presidentâ€™s death, said freeing Nigeria from the hands of those who are currently holding the country to ransom should be the major concern of all well-meaning Nigerians.
â€œThey are always quick to tell Nigerians that there is an acting president in the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and as such, no vacuum in government. However, we all know the limitations of the acting president.
â€œWe know that there are so many things Prof. Osinbajo cannot do and Nigerians are the ones bearing the consequences of a bedridden president,â€ the Ekiti governor lamented.
However, former Senate Majority Leader Mohammed Ndume dispelled the notion that the president was incapacitated, assuring Nigerians that Buhari, though still ill, was still alert.
He said information linked to the president had shown that he was still aware of what was going on around him and has been in constant touch with the acting president to offer advice on governance.
Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri Sunday evening, Ndume who is currently serving out his suspension from the Senate, said the call to make the presidentâ€™s health status public was not right, as it is a security issue.
He said the only thing missing at the presidency was Buhari as a person but the country had not ceased from being governed.
He said what the president requires are the prayers of all Nigerians, not the clamour in some quarters for him to resign.
Ndume argued that since there was no evidence indicating that the president was incapacitated, he had no timeframe as to how much longer Buhari would remain abroad, but Nigerians should take solace in the fact that the country was not at a standstill.
He said: â€œMost Nigerians are ignorant that the medical vacation of an executive (president or governor) as provided in the Nigerian constitution has no limit.
â€œWhat the constitution requires is for the president to write to the Senate and House of Representatives, which he did and asked the vice-president to act as president which is in order.
â€œThe vice-president is acting as president successfully in consultation with the president. Everybody knows that the acting president has been consulting the president, or in contact with the president as he acts as president.
â€œHence there are things the acting president will do without asking anybody and there are things he will do after consultation with the president which is normal and democratic.â€
He stressed that what Buhari needs from Nigerians are their prayers and not bad wishes or insults for ruling and saving Nigeria from collapse and destruction.
â€œNigeria was in bad shape and almost on the verge of collapse when President Buhari took over the mantle of leadership of the country.
â€œAll he deserves are prayers, not curses from Nigerians. I am surprised and worried to hear Nigerians wishing the death for their president, instead of being grateful and prayerful.
â€œOther presidents in the U.S., Germany, Britain and other developed countries of the world that we claim we are copying their democracies, ruled their countries in illness and incapacitation but still nobody in their countries complained in the manner Nigerians are doing about their president.
â€œWhether Buhari is in Nigeria or not, government will continue and Buhari is only a person, not a country, but our leader and a popularly elected president who should be regarded and respected for the good things he has done and peace he has brought to our country, not get insults or curses or bad wishes.
â€œWe are in democracy and politics is all about governance, while the leadership of the country is on course.â€