A senior lawyer and rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has advised the Presidency to do more in telling Nigerians about President Buhari’s health status as it did in 2016.
Mr Falana said on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics that Nigerians need to know the state of the President’s health.
Although he admitted that the law does not mandate the President to disclose his health status, he argued that citizens should not be left speculating about their president’s condition.
“Under the Freedom of Information Act, the right to health is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy but I am saying now that henceforth, this situation calls for a review of the law so that we won’t be left guessing next time.
“We are talking of the President. Many state governors go in and out of the country, some for a month or two, some for three months without anybody asking any question and without any handover to their deputies.
“But I am saying that with what we are going through now, we must come to appreciate that if you are going into public office, you have no secrecy,” he said.
He said that since the Presidency started on a good note by informing the nation of the treatment of an ear infection last time, more information this time around would remove speculations and erase any form of rumour.
“It is our duty and right and the President took cognizance of that last year when he disclosed to Nigerians what he was going abroad for. This year should not be an exception.
“This is what has given room to a lot of rumours and speculation which are totally uncalled for,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says all that President Buhari needs from Nigerians is prayer.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Adesina said via the telephone that knowing the actual health condition the President has been treating is not compulsory for Nigerians to pray for him.
Mr Adesina insisted that the reason for the extension was not more than he had stated in his statement.
He called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the President rather than allowing the latest news sway them into believing recent rumours that he had died.
Faced with the question that Nigerians would like to know the actual condition their president is being treated for to enable them offer prayers for him, Adesina insisted that Nigerians can pray for him without knowing the actual health condition.
He noted that the doctor-patient confidentiality must be respected, especially as the President is known to be a straightforward person who could disclose his condition to the citizens if the need arises.
“I am sure it will get to a point when the President has to disclose the status of his health if it needs to be disclosed. If it’s something serious enough to disclose, I am sure he will disclose it,” he said.
He explained that he could not disclose the nature of health challenge the President is dealing with because he was not aware.
“The President is the one who can release his own health status.
“The day he left, we still spoke. He didn’t tell me ‘this is my condition’. He told me he was going to rest and he would do medicals and that was included in the statement we released,” he added.
Asked if he knew when the President would be returning, Adesina said: “If there was a date he would return, it would have been in that statement.
“But the issue now is (that) there is no vacuum in government. No lacuna because power has been transferred to the Vice President who is acting president.
“So, Mr President can take the time he desires and when his doctors give him a clean bill of health, he then can return home.”
President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly on Sunday, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.
The President had planned to return to Abuja on Sunday evening, but according to Adesina’s statement, he was “advised to complete the test cycle before returning”.
The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.
“Mr. President expressed his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes,” Adesina added.
President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly today, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.
This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
“The President had planned to return to Abuja this (Sunday) evening, but was advised to complete the test cycle before returning.
“The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.
“Mr. President expresses his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes,” Adesina stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a 10-day vacation on Monday January 23 and was billed to return to work on Monday February 6, 2017.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has since been performing his duties as Acting President.
The President sent a letter to the National Assembly in compliance with Section 145 subsection (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which mandates the President to transmit a written declaration to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The short vacation is part of his 2017 annual leave.
The Kano State Police Command has suspended a Kano State empowerment programme and Kwanjwasiyya widow and divorcee mass wedding schedule to hold on August 20.
Police spokesman in Kano, Magaji Majia, told Channels Television that in view of the sour relationship between Kwankwaso-led APC faction and supporters of Governor Ganduje, the two events could not be allowed to hold on the same day and in the same venue almost the same time.
“The two factions are already paying a democratic lip service to each other, therefore the Police Commissioner Rabi’u Yusuf directed that the two events be suspended indefinitely”.
Vice President Yemi Osibajo is scheduled to attend the suspended Kano Government Youth Empowerment Programme while the former Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso was to attend the Kwanjwasiyya mass wedding.
When contacted, the State Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, said Ganduje administration had no problem with any Union coming to assist the Government but claimed that they were not aware about the Kwanjwasiyya mass wedding programme.
“I’m surprised to hear that the Commissioner of Police has suspended our programme because no one told us that Kwanjwasiyya foundation will be holding a mass wedding at the same day and at the same venue – Sani Abacha Stadium – but since the police have decided to stop us, we have no choice but to obey the law,” he told Channels Television.
However, all attempt to speak with the leadership of the Kwanjwasiyya Foundation on the recent development was not successful but sources close to Kwanjwasiyya told Channels Television that their leadership would release a statement of reaction in due course.
With 2019 around the corner, political situations in the politically advanced Kano State are already becoming more tense.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Nigerian Armed Forces to ensure that they win the war against Boko Haram in the nation’s northeast.
The President made the demand at the National Arcade on Friday via digital devices and live streaming equipment improvised by the Nigerian Army to enable him chat with soldiers in the northeast, as the military marks the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The event is used to honour the veterans who are alive as well as the families of the departed. It also featured inspection of Guard of Honour as mounted by the Guards Brigade.
Other government officials who joined the President in the laying of wreaths were Vice President Yemi Osibajo, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
The national troupe on war horses, heralded the coming of President Buhari into the National Arcade accompanied by the commander of the Guards Brigade for the review of the National Guard of Honour on parade
After the parade, the President and other special guests made a solemn movement straight to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the biggle
Prayers were said in Christian and Islamic formats for the repose of the souls of the departed and peace and unity of the country.
A minute silence in honour of the fallen heroes was also observed before President Buhari laid the presidential wreath followed by Vice President Osibajo, Dr Saraki, Mr Dogara, the Chief Justice of the Federation and the Defence Minister.
President Buhari further released the bells of pigeons and the balloons signifying the unfettered peace in the country.
One would have thought that the ceremony will end with the signing of the anniversary register by the President, but everyone watched as President Buhari, in what looks like an innovation, put a call across to the Nigerian soldiers in the war front, a call that was saluted with a joyous roar from the soldiers.
For more than six years Nigerian Armed Forces have battled Boko Haram terrorists mostly in the north-east States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
Their activities have displaced over two million persons.
While addressing reporters, some of the special guests express confidence in the Nigerian Army.
Channels Television’s correspondent, Chukwuma Onuekwuzi, said that beyond the event everyone seemed to say that the Nigerian Armed Forces, living and dead, deserved further celebration and the gratitude of the nation for their past and on-going sacrifices in the service of their fatherland.
January 15 of every year has been set aside to celebrate fallen heroes of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
It is always celebrated with pomp and pageantry.
On this day, fallen heroes as well as veterans, who put their lives on the line as they fought in and through the first and second world wars, the Nigeria Civil War and peace support missions. Are honoured and remembered.
In Nigeria, the event was initially marked with a National Holiday on November 12 and later on the November 11 (popularly known as 11-11 or poppy day) so that it coincided with the World War II Veterans’ Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Much later, it had to be changed to January 15 in memory of the end of the Nigeria Civil War in 1970.
This year, it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first military coup by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and four other majors on January 15, 1966.
The coup triggered a chain of other events that eventually snowballed into the fratricidal war of 1967 to 1970.