The Presidency has been issued a 74-hours ultimatum by a group known as the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, to provide it with a comprehensive information on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health status.
Since President Buhari traveled to London where he is presently believed to be receiving medical attention, Nigerians have been fed with different stories with regards to the actual state of his health.
First, it was the rumour about his death followed by various conflicting statements by the presidency and the release of different pictures of the president, all in a bid to convince Nigerians that their leader is still alive.
Nigerians swallowed the seeming lies, having decided to wait patiently for the set date of Buhari’s return but alas, February 5th came with the news that his return has been shifted to God-knows-when because of some test results which he has to collect. While the president’s media aide, Femi Adesina, urged Nigerians to pray for Buhari adding that anyone could fall sick, the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed and Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, insisted that the president was hale and hearty.
Tired of the hide and seek games, the Save Nigeria Group wrote a letter to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, which was acknowledged to have been received on Tuesday, February 7.
In the letter entitled “Request for information on President Muhammadu Buhari’s Health Status”, the group asked that full information on President Buhari’s health be released to calm the mounting tension in the country.
According to the letter made available to Vanguard, the group warned that if the authorities ignore the request, it will go ahead and take all other necessary legitimate and legal actions.
The letter signed by the National Coordinator, SNG, Barrister Benedict Ezeagu, reads:
“This ugly development, including denial, conditional admission, and restriction of access to President Buhari and the true information on his health status is reminiscence of the late President Yar’Adua’s incident which our revered organisation was at the forefront of its peaceful resolution and this is not good for Nigeria at this critical period of economic downturn, nationwide insecurity, and political strife.
“As you may know, the lack of clearness in handling the ‘vacation’ turned ‘medical trip’ of Mr. President has heightened the rumours and speculations about his health, the most frightening of which is that President Muhammadu Buhari had passed on or he has been in coma or on life-supporting machine, and thus increasing the political tension in the country.
“Since Mr. President is not a private citizen but a public servant whose health bills are currently being paid from the country’s treasury, Nigerians deserves the right to know the true state of his health as obtainable in enlightened republics.
“In the light of the foregoing Sir, while we join other Nigerians to pray for Mr President in line with the request of the Presidency, we hereby demand for full information on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari in exercise of the rights granted us by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the freedom of information Act and Article 9 of African charter on Human and people’s rights, as this will help dispel these rumours and speculations and reduce the current political tension in the country.
“Please sir, take notice that if we are not availed of the requested information within 74 hours of your receipt of this letter, we will have no alternative than to take all other necessary legitimate and legal steps, including approaching the National Assembly to activate relevant sections of the Constitution with regard to the health of a Nigerian president as well as institute court actions and organise peaceful protests among others, to ensure that we are availed of these rights guaranteed Nigerians by the laws.”
Meanwhile, as the entire country look forward to the return of President Muhammadu Buhari, organisers of the 28th edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair have announced President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as special guests at the fair which will kick off on March 31, 2017.