Buhari’s Health: Presidency Dismisses “Resume Or Resign” Protest

File photo: Garba Shehu

Against the backdrop of persistent calls by a group of protesters for the resignation or resumption of the president, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has said that attempts to derail the war against corruption will not succeed.

In a statement addressing members of the Center for Civil Society and Justice, a civil society coalition who staged a rally in support of the President in Abuja today, Mr Shehu dismissed the “return or resign” agitation describing it as an illegal assembly organised to derail the war against corruption.

He said, “They want to distract us, but what the Acting President wants to assure patriotic citizens is that the government will not bend.”

The presidential spokesman further noted in the statement that “as far the President is concerned, he has done the needful by handing the reins of authority to the vice president”.

He added, “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 group or individual.

“By divine intervention, Muhammadu Buhari unexpectedly got elected with the ostensible mandate of reversing national decline and securing its future. He got into the villa through democratic victory at the election. Anybody desiring to replace him, whether you are a wrestler, a hairdresser or a musician, you should go through that process. In a democracy, threats don’t work.”

Buhari’s Health: Presidential Aide’s Statement Is Disrespectful – Jiti Ogunye

Buhari's Health: Presidential Aide's Statement Is Disrespectful - Jiti Ogunye
Jiti Ogunye

A legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, has condemned the statement that calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose his health status is disrespectful.

Mr Ogunye stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, a day after the presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, said the call was disrespectful and insensitive.

READ ALSOAsking Buhari To Disclose His Health Status Is Disrespectful – Presidential Aide

Onochie, the Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media, had made the comments on Monday hours after Concerned Nigerians, a coalition of youth groups, protested in Abuja, demanding that the President should resume or resign.

Lauretta Onochie

“That’s a sad statement, it’s even unfortunate and disrespectful of Nigerians that that kind of statement could be made. The right to protest is a fundamental right, Nigerians have the right to associate. So, what is disrespectful about that? the lawyer questioned.

Ogunye noted that although he did not support the call for the President’s resignation, political office holders should mind the way they address citizens who are exercising the fundamental rights.

He said, “The way people in government, including people who are on the fringes of power talk down on the people is disconcerting. Who are the hoodlums who are taking over? We may not agree with some people who are saying that Buhari should resign or resume, but they have the right to protest; they have the right to associate.”

The lawyer stated that the protest wouldn’t have taken place if Nigerians were adequately briefed on the President’s health status.

“You know; a lot of anomalies take place here. Look, if those who are managing information about the President’s health have come out to tell Nigerians that this is what is happening to the President, this is how long it will take him to go through recovery instead of having you come today you come tomorrow, Nigerians may wait patiently,” he said.

Concerned Nigerians staging a protest in Abuja

Also reacting to the dispersal of the protesters by the police, Ogunye believes the security operatives have realised that their action was unnecessary.

“What I think has taken place now between yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) is that a kind of 24-hour sense recovery process has taken place with the police. Why did they break the protest yesterday as mild as it was and why didn’t they do so today? Maybe they’ve had some rethink because it is unnecessary,” he said.

Buhari’s Health: Concerned Nigerians Resume Protest

Some youth groups under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians have continued their sit out this morning at the Federal Capital Territory.

They are demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should resume or resign.

The protest which started on Monday was disrupted on Tuesday when police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters.

Today’s sit out has been peaceful so far, as police men provided security to those who came out to protest the absence of the President for more than 90 days.

Buhari’s Health: Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesters In Abuja

The Police have fired tear gas at protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should resume or resign.

Protesters under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians had started a protest in the nation’s capital Abuja on Monday, decrying the absence of the President from the country for more than 90 days, while also demanding the disclosure of his health status.

The protest, however, took an unpleasant turn on Tuesday morning as the police moved in to disperse using tear gas and water cannon.

Musician and social activist Charles Oputa who is popularly known as Charly Boy was among the protesters.

More to follow…

Asking Buhari To Disclose His Health Status Is Disrespectful – Presidential Aide

The Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has described the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose his health status and resume or resign as disrespectful and insensitive.

The Presidential Aide said this on Monday when she appeared on Channels Televisions’ Politics Today.

Onochie comments came hours after Concerned Nigerians, a coalition of youth groups, protested in Abuja, demanding that the President should resume or resign. while condemning the demand by a group of youths in Abuja.

The group also called for the disclosure of the President’s health status.

Onochie, however, said President Buhari’s absence had not affected governance in Nigeria because he handed over to his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in accordance with the law.

“It is very insensitive of anyone to begin to call on someone who is unwell to resume. Governance is going on, the role of the President is that of coordination; governance is a collective duty. When he (Buhari) was leaving, power was fully transferred to the Vice President and today, we have an Acting President,” she said.

“I have no idea why anybody would disrespect another by asking for the details of their health status. As we speak, we have an Acting President; President Buhari seems to be a private citizen at the moment; it is very disrespectful for anyone to ask for his health status,” she added.

Onochie argued that President Buhari has not violated any constitutional provision and that the Presidency is under no pressure.

She said the President can only disclose his health status if he wishes do so.

“The President has acted constitutionally; he has not broken any law, any rule or any constitutional provisions in our nation. The prerogative to tell Nigerians lies only on President Buhari; it is disrespectful and intrusive, it is not right, it is not appropriate,” she said.

Meanwhile, a co-convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, who also appeared on on the programme, argued that Section 144 of the Constitution had recommended the setting up of a medical panel to address the controversy surrounding the President’s health status.

He said, “What our group is saying is that the President needs to come back home and resume and work on the mandate that he promised the people and again, we are saying that Section 144 is the only thing that can help to solve the problem.”

We Needed To Show Buhari That We Love Him – Governor Emmanuel

Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has expressed confidence in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing him as a father who deserves support and love from all Nigerians.

Governor Emmanuel said this while answering questions from Government House reporters at the Akwa Ibom international airport upon his return to the state after his visit to President Buhari in the United Kingdom.

The Akwa Ibom Governor was part of seven governors who visited the president in London.

Governor Emmanuel said as father and leader of the country, President Buhari deserved the prayers and support of all Nigerians especially now that he is facing health challenges.

He described the governors’ visit to the president as a mark of unity in spite of ethnic, religious and political differences.

He said, “We finished elections since 2015; this is time for governance. So, all of us are looking at what we can do for our people. And the President is the father of all.

“So, if you are a good son and your father takes ill, you must care about it. That we didn’t do just for ourselves, we do for all Nigerians. If you see, they carefully picked one per geographical zone. So, on behalf of all Nigerians, we needed to show him that Nigerians care, that we love him as a father and we pray for him also.”

The governor, who represented the South-South geopolitical zone in the team of governors that visited President Buhari in London, called on all Nigerians to come together and show love and genuine concern for the president.

I Will Return Soon – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has re-assured Nigerians that he is recuperating fast and would return soon to continue serving his people.

He made the promise in a letter he wrote to the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, thanking him for the nationwide prayers held last week by Guineans for his recovery and good health.

The President who had earlier made a phone call to Conde, who is also the Chairman of the Assemblies of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), expressed his gratitude in the letter dated July 24, 2017.

This was made known on Tuesday in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina.

“I thank you for your kind and thoughtful action in organising nationwide prayers for my good health. It is a gesture that I will forever cherish and treasure.

“Your Excellency will be pleased to hear that I am making good progress, and as soon as doctors advise, I shall return to my duties and continue serving the Nigerian people who elected me and are daily praying for my recovery,” the letter read.

In an earlier letter, President Buhari had also accepted his nomination as leader of the ‘2018 AU Theme on the Fight Against Corruption’, which came from African leaders at the 29th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 4, 2017.

“While thanking you for the kind words and for the nomination, I wish to express my readiness to accept this new important role and to reiterate my commitment to contribute towards our collective efforts to strengthen good governance and development on the continent.

“I, therefore, look forward to working closely with you in the realisation of this objective,” the President wrote.

Read Also: Buhari Meets With APC Governors/ Leaders In London

This is coming few days after the President met with governors and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in London.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who is also the head of the APC governors and was among the delegation, said President Buhari was delighted to receive them.

According to Okorocha, the President was very cheerful and has not lost any bit of his sense of humour.

He added that they spent more than an hour with him over lunch and discussed developments in each state, after which he stated that he would be returning soon.

Osinbajo Travels To London For Meeting With Buhari

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has travelled to London to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari who has been in the United Kingdom for over 60 days on a medical vacation.

Professor Osinbajo was said to have left late on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to return to Nigeria immediately after the meeting with the President.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, confirmed the visit in a tweet around 7:30 pm.

President Buhari had travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention for the second time this year on May 7.

He spent 49 days in London during his first trip, returning on March 10 after which he revealed that he had never been so sick.

Details about Acting President Osinbajo’s visit are sketchy, but no picture has emerged of the President meeting with anyone like he did during his first trip except for an audio message recorded in Hausa language wishing Nigerians a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

The news of Professor Osinbajo’s visit to London comes a day after the wife of the President, Aisha, posted a cryptic message, which went viral, on Facebook.

File Photo: President Buhari met with Professor Osinbajo on May 7 just before travelling to the U.K.

The Presidency has maintained, amid concerns about the President’s health and criticism over the way it has been handled, that he is in safe hands and recovering fast.

Early last month, On June 6, the wife of the President, had returned to Nigeria with the news that the President was recuperating fast.

Mrs Buhari, who conveyed the appreciation of the President to Nigerians for their prayers, called on Nigerians to continue to be strong in the face of challenges and to support the Federal Government in implementing the agenda for which they were elected.

She also expressed the President’s appreciation to the Acting President for his loyalty.

Nine days later, on June 15, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, had described Mrs Buhari’s comments about the President’s health as “the most authentic news” available at the time.

 

Why Presidential Aircraft Has Been Parked In London – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to criticism of the decision to keep the Presidential Aircraft, NAF 001, in Britain since May 7 when President Muhammadu Buhari flew to London for a medical follow-up.

The move had attracted criticism with some reports claiming it was costing the nation millions.

But the Presidency said in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, that the criticism, “mostly on social media”, is as result of lack of an understanding of protocols.

“It is important to state that for reasons of protocol, national security, diplomacy and prestige, there is no world leader who travels abroad and is left without plans for immediate return or possible evacuation,” the statement read in part.

“From an operational point of view, this country’s Armed Forces as represented by the Nigeria Air Force are not to abandon their Commander-In-Chief in whichever circumstance he is. This is a standard operating procedure.”

On the cost of the retention of the plane in London, the Presidency said it is not true that Nigeria is paying an outrageous amount.

“The published amounts are totally untrue. Aircraft conveying heads of state all over the world usually enjoy waivers even where payments for parking are differentiated by aircraft categories,” it said.

“We have been assured that where the waiver is not granted, payment will not exceed £1,000, which is a quarter of the amount being peddled.”

It added that other world leaders that have had aircraft waiting for them for periods did not attract criticism.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this President is not the first to have a presidential aircraft standing by for him, as he will certainly not be the last,” the Presidency said.

“All past Heads of this country have had this privilege, and the part that surprises the most is that leaders who in the past travelled with three Nigerian aircraft did not suffer this trenchant criticism.”

The Presidency called on Nigerians to ignore the claims, and the “opposition campaign aimed at derailing this administration’s big plans for the country”.

“This is a government that is constructing the Second Niger Bridge, the Mambila Power Plant, the East-West and the North-South standard gauge railway lines,” it added.

“We are a government that has saved this country an annual loss of two trillion naira from fraudulent petroleum subsidy schemes by influential citizens and their children, and rid the public service of about 50,000 ghost workers.”

Zamfara Govt Organises Prayer For Buhari

Buhari Orders Payment Of London-Paris Club Refunds To StatesA special prayer has been held for the health of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Zamfara State government.

The prayer session was organised by the state government as part of the activities to mark the second anniversary of President Buhari in office.

It also marks the sixth anniversary of Governor Abdulaziz Yari’s administration in the state.

The prayer session which took place at the Gusau Central Mosque was led by the Chief Imam of the mosque, Malam Liman Dan’alhaji.

The Deputy Governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala, prayed for the quick and safe return of the President, from his medical trip to London.

President Buhari had travelled to London on May 7 for a medical follow up with his doctors after weeks of speculations about his health.

In a letter to the Senate officially notifying lawmakers of the trip, the President had said his length of stay will be determined by his doctors.

Buhari Meets With Freed Chibok Girls, Leaves For Medical Follow-up

President Meets With Freed Chibok Girls, Leaves Tonight For Medical Follow-upPresident Muhammadu Buhari has received the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were recently released by the Boko Haram terrorists at the Presidential Villa.

A statement from the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, revealed that after meeting with the girls, President Buhari would immediately proceed to the United Kingdom for a medical follow-up.

“President Muhammadu Buhari proceeds to London tonight for follow-up medical consultation with his doctors. He had planned to leave Sunday afternoon, but decided to tarry a bit, due to the arrival of 82 Chibok girls who arrived Abuja earlier in the day.

“The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry. He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation.

“The length of the President’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors. Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo),” the statement read.

Mr Adesina said the President has transmitted letters about the trip to the Senate and the House of Representatives, in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The freed Chibok girls were brought in two military buses to Aso Rock, after they were earlier received in Abuja by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

They were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, a community in Borno State in April 2014.

Also Read: 82 Released Chibok Girls Arrive Abuja

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, had said the schoolgirls were released after months of patient negotiations.

“President Buhari is pleased to announce that negotiations to release more of the Chibok girls have borne fruit with the release of 82 more girls today (Saturday) after months of patient negotiations.

“Our security agencies have taken back these abducted girls in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities,” he said.

PHOTOS: Buhari Makes Public Appearance

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday attended the Jumat Service inside the Presidential Villa, one week after he failed to do so, amid growing speculations about his health.

The President was joined by the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Monguno, and other officials at the service.

See photos below:

Read Also: Buhari Attends Jumat Service