Civil society organisations and some lawyers have issued an ultimatum asking the Presidency to publicly disclose the true state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari on or before May 29, to put a rest to speculations that the government has been hijacked by a cabal.
According to The PUNCH, These groups and individuals have threatened to hold protests throughout the country against the alleged cabal in the presidency should the uncertainty over the President’s health status continue beyond his administration’s second anniversary in office, which is May 29.
They expressed disappointment with the way information surrounding the President’s health status is being managed by his handlers and warned against a repeat of Nigerians’ experience during the government of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Some of them also called on the President to resign from office if he is unfit to fully commit himself to the task of tackling the various problems of the country.
Yar’Adua’s time as President, in its twilight, was marred by allegations that a cabal had hijacked the Presidency following an ailment.
Speaking on the secrecy surrounding the health of President Buhari, the President, Campaign for Democracy, Mr Bako Usman, threatened that the group would protest if the Presidency failed to declare Buhari’s health status within two weeks or at most by May 29.
He said it was high time “some cabal members” stopped holding Nigerians hostage by hiding the health condition of the President.
He said, “A cabal cannot be holding over 170 million Nigerians hostage because they are enjoying some sort of benefits to the detriment of us all.
“We are going to be a part of the struggle. We are protesting against the hiding of the President’s health status. History will not judge us right if we keep silent over the issue.
“We voted him into power, but his performance has been below expectations. Hiding his health status has not been helpful. There is nowhere in the constitution where the President’s health status should be treated as classified information. The secrecy is uncalled for.”
Usman said the group is giving the Presidency a two-week ultimatum for it to declare Buhari’s health status.
He said, “We have been in this struggle for long and we are not going to retire. So, if Buhari fails to address the citizens or fail to appear at the next Federal Executive Council meeting and the one following it, we will start our protests.”
Likewise, the spokesperson for Free Nigeria Coalition, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said his group was giving “May 29 ultimatum to the presidency for full disclosure of Buhari’s health status”.
He said, “It is the irreducible minimum we’re demanding from the Presidency and President Buhari himself. We can’t continue in this occult-like political wilderness that a few persons – influence peddlers and money monger cabals- are trying to foist on us.
“We must resist this wickedness in totality because Nigeria is bigger than any individual. Before our eyes another dark episode is unfolding similar to what happened in 2010/2011. It will be a disservice to this nation and Mr. President himself if we don’t collectively act to rescue him from a set of wicked cabals.”
He said in the days to come, the group would organise a rally and even reach out to Nigerians to protest against the handling of Buhari’s health.
“If it requires us to occupy Abuja, we are ready to partner like-minded Nigerians to achieve this.
“It has reached that level now for us to hit the streets and demand to know the health status of Mr President. It is a price we must pay and we must be ready to salvage our nation,” he said.
Also, Publicity Secretary, Youth Arise for Nigeria, Liborous Oshoma, said it would be in order for the “President and the cabal to do the right thing on or before the administration’s second anniversary in office”.
Oshoma described the call as necessary since constitutionally, the only people who can declare the President incapacitated are the ministers appointed by him.
He said, “Can Nigerians, in all honesty, declare the person that appointed them incapacitated because it will mean they may also be packing their bags? We employed him. He came to us to seek employment and he campaigned. Then we employed him with our votes collectively. So he is answerable to us as his employers. So if he is resting, we need to know why he is resting.
“May 29, 2017, would be an opportunity to draw a scorecard to say ‘this is where we are and we would have been here if not for the health of Mr President and his state of health is this or that. This is his state of health; he can still function well and end his tenure’.
“Nigerians want to know what is wrong with him and if he can pull through. I believe Nigerians should join hands, not with sentiments, and say, Mr President, in the spirit of transparency, come out and say this is what is wrong with you. We can say with that kind of ailment, let us not mount pressure on him. We can say, Mr President, take six months off to rest and let your Vice act in your stead.