Buhari’s health: Akande warns against confusion
2 May 2017 National
AFTER a short break, the President’s health returned to the front burner yesterday.
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Bisi Akande urged Nigerians to seek divine healing for President Muhammadu Buhari and warned power mongers of the danger of playing politics with the number one citizen’s health.
According to him, the President has to be in a good shape to steer the ship of the nation.
Chief Akande’s call came on a day some activists advised the President to proceed on medical vacation.
The first APC acting chairman believes Buhari’s zeal and patriotism must have affected his health, which he said has direct impact on the health of the nation.
In the statement, the APC chieftain noted that the President is surrounded by “mostly unpatriotic and greedy ruling class”.
He also flayed the gulf between the Presidency and the National Assembly.
The former Osun State governor warned those who plan to feast on the President’s health status for their selfish political gains, reminding them of the consequences of such behaviour.
The statement reads: “The health of the leader is intricately intertwined with the health of the nation. It is more so in a delicately fragile Union of Nations called Nigeria. I did not see President Buhari at the wedding of his grand son in Kaduna last Saturday. I was sad and I wept.
“When last we met at the wedding of his daughter in Abuja last December, I complained to him that I was not happy about his stressful looks. His reply connoted some allusions to circumstances where an honest man fighting corruption is surrounded mostly by unpatriotic greedy ruling class.
“He felt painfully frustrated. He assured me he would soon be going on vacation. I then knew that corruption has effectively been fighting back. And I prayed for Nigeria.
“That was why Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I rushed to meet him in London in February
this year when he was sick and could not return as scheduled from his vacation. The rest is history but we must appreciate that his poor health is already taking a toll on the health of Nigeria as a polity.
“There are two challenges facing the country today. The first and most critical is the health of the President which, unfortunately, is a development beyond his control and for which we did not prepare. The second is the disorder and lack of cohesion between the National Assembly and the Presidency.
“These are two great red flag dangers that have the potential of plunging the country into unprecedented chaos and of destabilising the gains of democracy since 1999.
“The greatest danger however is for political interests at the corridor of power attempting to feast on the health of Mr President in a dangerous manner that may aggravate the problems between the Executive and the National Assembly without realising if, in the end, it could drag the entire country into avoidable doom.
“As delicately fragile the Union of Nations making up Nigeria, so delicately fragile the democracy and the rule of laws governing the polity of the Union called Nigerian Federation. Certain Nigerian leaders, having been blind-folded by corruption, assume the possibility of using money in manipulating the national security agencies to intimidate, suppress and hold down certain ethnic nationalities or playing one ethnic nationality against the other with a view to undermining the constitution and perversely upturning the rule of law.
“To avoid the ugly consequences of letting President Buhari’s ailments throw Nigeria into confusion, I am urging all Nigerians to begin to pray for his divine healing and perfect recovery.
“Let me warn today that those who wish to harvest political gains out of the health of the President are mistaken. This is not Nigeria of 1993. We are in a new national and global era of constitutionalism and order. We hope Nigerians have enough patience to learn from history.
“My greatest fear, however, is that the country should not be allowed to slide into anarchy and disorder of a monumental proportion.”
Also yesterday, some eminent Nigerians urged the President to heed his personal physicians, advice and proceed on medical leave.
Their advice was contained in a statement jointly issued yesterday entitled: “President Buhari should take medical leave immediately”.
The signatories are: Femi Falana (SAN); Senior Fellow Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, Prof Jibrin Ibrahim; Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran; Senior lecturer/Researcher, Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, Dr. Chris Kwaja; Executive Director at Centre for Information Technology and Developmen(CITAD), Dr. Y. Z. Ya’u; and Country Director, Search for Common Ground, Mr Chom Bagu.
The list includes: Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Mr Olanrewaju Suraju; Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform(PER), Ezenwa Nwagwu; Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr Anwal Musa Rafsanjani ; Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor; a Senior Communication Officer (Policy) in the Operations Communication Department, External and Corporate Relations, Vice-Presidency of the World Bank Group, Dr. Sina Odugbemi; National Coordinator, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative (PRADIN), Mr. Muhammed Attah, and Executive Secrectary, Socio Economic Rights Project (SERAP), Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni .
Their advice was given against the background of Buhari’s absence at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last Wednesday and other state functions, in particular, a statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu in which he stated that “the President’s doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago.
The statement reads: “When President Mohammadu Buhari was recently in the United Kingdom on a medical vacation, which lasted 59 days, many public officers said that he was hale and hearty. But upon his return to the country, President Buhari disclosed that he had never been that sick in his entire life.
“Even though the President did not disclose the nature of his ailment, he revealed that he went through blood transfusion. While thanking the Nigerian people for their prayers, the President announced that he might soon travel back for further medical treatment.
“A few weeks ago, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, urged Nigerians to give President Buhari time to recover from his sickness. The plea was made after the governor had visited and presumably assessed the state of the President’s health at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“However, due to the apparent deterioration in the President’s health condition, he has neither been seen in public in the last one week nor attended the last two meetings of the FEC. His absence at the last Jumat service in the villa has fuelled further speculations and rumours on President Buhari’s medical condition.
“But instead of embarking on regular briefing on the actual state of the health of President Buhari, officials of the Federal Government have continued to assure the Nigerian people that there is no need for apprehension over the matter.
“In defending the absence of the President at the last FEC meeting and other state functions, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, stated that ‘the President’s doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago’.
“As we join the Nigerian people of goodwill to pray for a speedy recovery of President Buhari, we are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay”.
Source: The Nation