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Health challenge: Buhari should consider honourable resignation-HURIWA

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Nneoma Ndibe 

The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has asked Nigeria’s ailing President Muhammadu Buhari, to consider resigning honourably now that the ovations are loud to allow for a fast track governance to salvage the rudderless ship that Nigeria has become.

Buhari is currently in London, United Kingdom (UK) for a long medical vacation handing over to his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in acting capacity.

HURIWA in a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko on Thursday,  lamented that the ballooning poverty situation afflicting over one hundred million Nigerians due to lack of good governance and political stability shows that Nigeria can ill-afford the extremely high costs of medical tourism for the number one citizen on an unceasing period of time.

Besides, the rights group said health challenges of the president and the secrecy surrounding his exact condition has thrown a spanner in the wheel of the seamless enforcement of the freedom of information Act.

“We acknowledge the undeniable fact that the failure of the Presidency to respect the principle of full disclosure and accountability in terms of how much of the public fund is spent paying the medical costs of keeping Mr. President in London has undermined the very essence of government’s focal programme of anti-corruption crusade. Public fund when spent as in this case for over one hundred days in a foreign jurisdiction must be properly accounted for and the good people of Nigeria deserve the right to be fully informed. How can a government that professes her commitment to vigorously wage war against corruption and economic crimes now turn back to flagrantly violate the clear provisions of all the relevant anti-graft laws and the Freedom of Information Act? This is absurd”.

The group stated that President Buhari as a consummate statesman must consider resigning now on health grounds or the appropriate constitutional  and lawful procedures be activated in line with section 144(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).

“The “Nigeria’s economic and political state is parlous, perilous and toxic due to power play by divergent centripetal  and centrifugal forces embedded within the presidency due to the frequent absence of the substantive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There is the urgency of now for Mr. President to tender his resignation so the country can be more effectively governed without the hangover of threats of the so called presidential cabal made up essentially of largely unelected but close family members of Mr. President as is being speculated in the popular media of mass communication. Nigeria should be bigger than any regional political intrigues if we must save this political entity from imminent collapse”.

HURIWA recalled that specifically, Section 144(1) and (2) of the constitution states thus: “(1)                The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if(a)                By a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation it is declared that the president or vice-president is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and (b)                The declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the president of the senate and the speaker of the House of Representative.(2)                 Where the medical panel certifies in the report that in its opinion the president or vice-president is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the president of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representative shall be published in the official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.”

 

HURIWA also lamented the widening specter of organized violence, the resurgence of ferocious attacks by armed Boko Haram terrorists and the total breakdown of national infrastructures due largely to the existence of a broken presidency created by the continuous absence of the inaugurated substantive President.

 


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