PRESS STATEMENT FROM OURMUMUDONDO MOVEMENT ON THE PROLONGED ABSENCE OF PRESIDENT BUHARI
Any nation where people fail to ask questions is a nation heading for destruction. Any nation where abnormalities and high-handedness are celebrated, there is a critical problem.
Ever since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country on medical leave for the second time 89 days ago, neither he nor his aides have disclosed to Nigerians the illness that has rendered the president completely infirm.
While the OurMumuDonDo movement wishes the President a speedy recovery, we are inclined to express our fundamental concerns about the protracted absence of the president in the country.
First and foremost, in a democratic dispensation as ours, transparency and accountability should be the leading factors. And this is even more important for the president Buhari’s administration because transparency and accountability were his watchwords during his campaign for the position of president.
Secondly, we are deeply worried that the president may be battling a severe illness that might hinder his ability to discharge his presidential functions. This deep concern arises from the fact that Nigerians are being kept in the dark on the nature of president Buhari’s illness. And as we have seen in developed countries, the health status of public servants is a matter of public concern and for whatsoever reason, cannot be kept away from the public.
In retrospect, one would begin to wonder what has changed between 2012 when so-called activists and concerned Nigerians came out en masse to protest the removal of fuel subsidy; and now when everyone has totally gone silent. why the same persons that played pivotal roles in then nationwide subsidy protest were silent in 2016, what has changed between 2012 and 2016?
It would also be recalled that when late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, then president of Nigeria was sick and and out of the country, pseudo activists including the incumbent president and some members of his cabinet went ballistic and demanded the resignation of the late president. Now that the table has turned, everyone has gone mute. Bottomline is, we deserve better than having hypocrites represent us in politics and civil society groups.
Further to this, the president Buhari’s administration ran a campaign on the hills of transparency and accountability to the people of Nigeria. Therefore, in propagating the ethos of accountability and transparency, it is crucial for president Bihari and his cabinet to disclose to Nigerians the nature of the president’s illness.
Whereas the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended does not make provision for how long the president can be away from office as long as he transmits a written declaration to the National Assembly, section 144 subsection 1, 2, and 3 of the same constitution unambiguously states that the president shall cease to hold office if he is proven to be permanently infirm and unable to discharge the functions of his office.
We are deeply concerned also that despite the campaign promise of President Buhari to ban all politicians from traveling to seek medical care in foreign countries, the president himself is the leader of such unpatriotic aberration. Worse still, the amount being spent on the presidential private jet parked in London daily is condemnable considering the fact that the country is yet to come out of recession and the people are suffering daily from abject poverty and penury.
It is therefore crucial and of immediate importance that the president of Nigeria and his aides disclose the nature of the president’s illness. The disclosure must be done for Nigerians to be in the know as to whether the president can still carry out his presidential functions or not.
If we say we are running a democratic system of government, we expect that the intricacies of such system would be employed in its totality. Nigerians deserve to know the status of the health of their president and should not be deprived of this simple information.
Conclusively, therefore, If the status of president Buhari’s health cannot be disclosed, let him resign so our nation can move on.
Publicity Secretary of OurMumuDonDo Movement.
Visit www.ourmumudondo.orgto register for the movement.