The Presidency has ruled out the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari resigning over his health condition.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President made this known while speaking to journalists at the public presentation of the book “Against the Run of Play; How an Incumbent President was Defeated in Nigeria,” written by Olusegun Adeniyi, Chairman, ThisDay Editorial Board and former Special Adviser, Media to late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
According to the presidential spokesman, those making the call for the President to resign are “merely expressing their opinions.” In his words:
“Saying the president should resign is an opinion but don’t forget that 15 million people elected the president so if one or two people express their opinion, will their opinion override that of 15 million people that voted for him? Those who are expressing their opinion have rights to their opinion.”
On the state of Buhari’s health, Adesina was quoted as saying; “There is no need for apprehension, God spared the president the first time. Remember he said that he has never been as ill as he was before. The same God that spared him will also ensure that he returns to full health. Nigerians prayed and God answered, Nigerians are still praying and God will still answer.”
Recall that presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu had explained why Buhari is rarely seen at public functions, saying that the president is taking things slowly, following his doctor’s advice so he can recover fully from the treatment he underwent in London.
President Buhari has been absent at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for the last three weeks and was also absent during Friday’s Jumat prayers at the State House mosque.
But President Buhari’s health condition is fast generating growing concerns and fear among people of his home state, Katsina.
In his home town, Daura, one of the conveners of the special prayers for President Buhari, Engr Malam Abba Mato, said they decided to hold the prayers as prescribed by Islam to pray for the sick.
When asked whether the prayer was to avert a repeat of the Yar’Adua scenario, Engr Mato said the circumstances surrounding the health of President Buhari are different from that of Yar’Adua.
“The case of President Buhari is different in the sense that this government is open government. When Buhari was going out of the country, he wrote to the National Assembly notifying the lawmakers that he would be going for vacation and from there he would see his doctor.
“Again, his sickness is normal considering his age – over 70 years. You have to thank Almighty Allah for a President of this age to be performing well. It is not surprising that some people are peddling rumours that President Buhari is dead. Even in your community or home, you will see people who wish you good and those who wish you bad,” Malam Mato said.
Yawalle Musa Kallah, the Treasurer of Buhari Youth Congress for Change, BYCC, the group that recently carried out a rally in support of President Buhari in Daura, is also one of those who expressed mixed feelings over the President’s state of health.
“The condition of health of President Buhari is something that came with a lot of concern but again why we are not worried is because it is bound to happen to any human. Today, you are healthy and tomorrow you are sick,” he said.
On his part, former Chairman and pioneer member of APP in Daura, Alhaji Sani Kilishi said: “It’s sad to hear that today one of your own is sick. You will definitely not be happy. This now makes it binding on one to pray for such person and that was why we pray for him.”
Chairman of a pressure group, Accountability and Good Governance Initiative, Lawal Saidu Funtua, shared a similar view, noting that the development is sad particularly because Katsina State lost one of it illustrious sons, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, in a similar scenario. He prayed for good health to enable the president complete his tenure so that his good works like the Anti-corruption crusade will not suffer a set back.
A lecturer in one of the universities in Katsina, Abdulrasheed Funtua has urged prayers for the president saying the President’s state of health is destiny and sickness is not death.
“Take Senator Isiaka Adeleke, for instance, he was not sick but he died. So, it is destiny. And there is nothing we can do than to keep praying for President Buhari,” Funtua said.
In the same vein, a resident of Kankia, Ustaz Idris, said there is palpable fear over the President’s state of health because of succession issues given the immediate past experience following the death of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua which created room for Goodluck Jonathan to become the next president.
“Already we have a bitter experience, talking about the scenario which brought in President Jonathan. And the fear as a Nigerian is, do we know who Vice President Osinbajo is?
“Are we not going to have the experience we had with Jonathan where people who are rich were busy enriching themselves at the expense of the poor and others were losing their lives?
“During Jonathan, instead of finding lasting solutions to the insecurities, some people were making money from the situation. “We are only praying that President Buhari should complete his tenure and complete the good work he has started. For instance, fight against insurgency,” Idris said.