The controversies surrounding the health of the number one citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seem not to be ending any time soon as new stories keep emerging around it.
The Punch reports that a civil rights movement, Concerned Nigerians (CN), has given the Presidency a 2-week ultimatum within which President Muhammadu Buhari should conduct a media chat to address the nation on the state of his health and other critical national issues.
The group further stated that should the President fail to speak out, the organisation would shut down the country and commence a series of nationwide peaceful processions and call for his resignation from office.
The position of CN, was contained in a six-paragraph statement released on Saturday and titled: “We will shut down Nigeria if Buhari does not conduct a media chat in two weeks”, signed by its Convener, Deji Adeyanju and Secretary, Dr. John Danfulani.
The CN said that for several weeks, the health ststus of the president has been a subject of heavy speculation and societal debate, since he has neither appeared in public nor attended many official functions, including the Federal Executive Cabinet meetings which he has now missed three times in a row.
The statement reads: “The handling of the situation relating to President Buhari’s health has led to a lot of political uncertainty in the country. This economic uncertainty has, in turn, led to a lot of economic uncertainty as major economic stakeholders and players are unable to make short, middle and long-term economic decisions.
“Furthermore, the uncertainty about President Buhari’s health is stoking ethnic and religious tensions. Only recently a user on the social networking site – Facebook – threatened to kill 200 innocent Nigerians if President Buhari dies. This threat may not be unconnected with rumours making rounds in the northern parts of the country that President Buhari was poisoned.
“To this end, we call on President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, publicly address the nation on the state of his health and other national issues. Such an address will go a long way in assuaging the socio-economic and political tensions.
“If President Buhari fails or refuses to address the nation within 14 days of this statement, we will commence a series of nationwide peaceful processions calling on President Buhari to resign from office. The processions will also call on the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly to set up a committee to assess his health in line with Section 144 of the Constitution if he fails or refuses to do so”.
“While we recognise that illnesses can afflict anyone, particularly someone of President Buhari’s age, an occupant of the Office of the President has to be more forthcoming with information regarding his health. It is an obligation that the President bears to conduct himself in a manner that does not affect the peace, order and good governance of the country.”
While wishing President Buhari a speedy recovery from the illnesses that plague him, CN, however, believed that “he can no longer recover in a manner that plagues the entire country.”
It is yet to be known, what would happen in the coming days. Nigerians have also wondered what the president stands to lose if the same people who stayed under the scorching sun to put him in power, are briefed on his health status. A certain individual stated that this was what former president barrack Obama meant when he said that Africans should endeavour to build strong institutions rather than strong individuals. Whilst wondering how one man can hold an entire country to ransom with the status of his health, it is hoped that the president gets well and resume his duties in good time.