Following the protest that has been on since Monday, August 7, led by a Nigerian musician, Charles Oputa, also known as Charley Boy, asking President Muhammad Buhari to either resume work or resign, a counter group has emerged.
The group known as Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiatives, in another protest in Abuja on Thursday, urged the president not to cut short his medical vacation, instead he should focus on his full recovery and ignore detractors.
The protesters converged at the Unity Fountain, Abuja singing solidarity songs in support of the Nigerian government.
Some of the placards displayed at the protest ground include: ‘the system is working, no cause for alarm, ‘we repose confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari,’ ‘our president is recuperating, Nigeria is moving forward’.
While the group calling for the president’s resumption or resignation was battered and manhandled by the police on Tuesday, which happened to be the second day of the sit-out protest, the pro-Buhari group was escorted by the police.
The group’s National Coordinator, Okpokwu Ogenyi, addressed journalists at the solidarity rally in support of Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, although the health vacation of the president has been a subject of controversy, with some of them resulting from genuine concerns by citizens that desire to see him recover faster, some apprehensions are products of ignorance of the 1999 Constitution and political naivety.
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“The provisions of the law on the president’s health remain very clear and unambiguous. No provision of the constitution gave time limit when the president is expected to return and resume his duties if sick as well, it is not found anywhere in the constitution the time frame of an acting president”, he said
He added that: “Inasmuch as we all want our president back to his duties, the constitution never stipulated how long a serving president of Nigeria can be away on medical holiday. Anyone demanding the resignation or forced return of the president is daring God.
“What the constitution requires the president to do in the event of such vacation was to hand over to the vice-president by transmitting a letter to the National Assembly.”