Pro-Buhari Protesters Urge President to Concentrate on Full Recovery
By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following Tuesday’s protest by a group led by a Nigerian musician, Charles Oputa, also known as Charley Boy, asking President Muhammad Buhari to either resume work or resign, another group, Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiatives, in another protest in Abuja Thursday urged the president not to cut short his medical vacation, rather he should concentrate on his full recovery and shun detractors.
While the group calling for the president’s resumption or resignation was battered and manhandled by the police last Tuesday which happened to be the second day of the sit-out protest, the pro-Buhari group was escorted by the police.
Addressing journalists at the solidarity rally in support of Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa Thursday in Abuja, the National Coordinator, Okpokwu Ogenyi, said though 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.
According to him, “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 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.”