FG To Protesters: Buhari Asked For Indefinite Leave
The Federal Government on Thursday challenged protesters in Abuja who are demanding for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation to provide legal and constitutional basis why the president must resign from office on account of health issues.
It said the president requested for “indefinite vacation” and fulfilled the requirements of the constitution.
Speaking exclusively with INDEPENDENT, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, said the president has done nothing wrong to warrant his resignation, urging the protesters, operating under the aegis of ‘Ourmumudondo Movement’ to channel their energy into productive things that will be of immense benefit to the country.
Speaking further, he said there is no provision in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that a president who is on medical vacation for six months or more must resign from office.
The minister, who said President Buhari is not incapacitated in anyway also challenged the protesters to name any president in the world who resigned on account of health issues.
He added that if the protesters understood the fact that the president requested for “indefinite vacation” and fulfilled the requirements of the constitution by handing over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo they will not be on the streets asking him to resume work or resign.
“Our position has always been very straightforward on this matter. The president went on medical vacation.
“Not only did he tell the country he was going for medical treatment, he also did the right thing according to the constitution by writing a letter to the National Assembly informing the lawmakers that he is leaving for treatment and while he is away, the vice president will be acting in his place.
“He also said that the length of his stay will be determined by his doctors. So clearly, nobody can accuse him of overstaying because he made it clear that he is going on indefinite vacation and his doctors will tell him when it is over.
“So, there is no constitutional provision that says if the president is ill or on medical treatment for six months or more, he must resign. The president is mentally and physically okay; he is not in any way incapacitated”, Mohammed said.
According to him, “The vice president, who is now the acting president, consults with him regularly, government is running very smoothly and one begins to wonder the reason for protests and clamour that he must resign. This is a very popular president who won with a large mandate. Nobody is as anxious as the president to come back.
“This is a president who is very passionate and committed to the country, therefore he is even more anxious than many of us to come back and complete his works.
“When people now go on the streets and say he must resign, on what basis? What legal or constitutional basis was that demand based? And they should tell us anywhere in the world where a president who is still alive, who is not incapacitated but took ill resigned from office