Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, left Nigeria on Sunday, August 6, to visit her ailing husband in the UK where he is currently undergoing medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
Mrs. Buhari had just returned from the United Kingdom last week, assuring Nigerians that her husband was in good health and would return soon.
While the presidency has yet to issue a statement regarding the first lady’s trip to London, members of staff confirmed the development to The Nation, while also hinting the possibility of Aisha returning to Nigeria with her husband at a yet to be announced date.
Despite the many assurances from the Presidency promising that President Buhari will soon return to the country, many Nigerians are, however, running out of patience.
On Monday, August 7, a coalition of Civil Society and pro democracy group under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians staged a peaceful protest in Abuja demanding that the ailing President resumes or resigns his office after spending 92 days in London for medical treatment without a definite date for return to work.
The protesters converged at the Unity Fountain near Transcorp Hilton with placards bearing inscriptions such as; “Resume or Resign Nigerians say enough is enough”; “Buhari ! Where are you?” “We Are Tired of Being Enslaved in Our Country,” “Our Mumu Don Do”; “Buhari Called For Impeachment When Yar’adua Was Sick, Now We Are Calling For Same.”
Accompanied by heavily armed mobile policemen, the protesters marched to the gate of the Presidential Villa and vowed to occupy until the President accede to their demands.
The protesters were led by popular entertainer and activist, Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy and the convener Deji Adeyanju. Adeyanju argued that “90 days is too long for a president to be away from his country without any explanation to the people that voted him into office.”
The group insisted President Buhari should do the honorable thing and resign if he has become incapacitated because he cannot continue to hold the country to ransom. They also noted that a few group of people in the government have taken the advantage of the president’s ill health to loot the treasury with impunity.
“We hereby demand that the National Assembly invoke Section 144 sub Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and direct the setting up of a medical panel in conjunction with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to ascertain whether the President is incapacitated,” Adeyanju stated.
The groups promised to continue their protest – a sit-in – at the Unity Fountain in Abuja until the president either returns or resigns.
But the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has reacted to the the protester’s demands saying the president would only return after doctors’ certification.
Speaking on Sunday on ChannelsTv’s Sunday Politics, Adesina said: “Well, the president would always do what is legal and constitutional. What they are asking for is not known to our laws. The president will stand by our laws at all times. He will uphold the laws, he will protect them.”