A group of Nigerians, under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Nigerians, has asked the Federal Executive Council to write the National Assembly to request a medical examination of President Muhammadu Buhari to determine his suitability to remain in office.
The coalition made the request in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.
Members of the group noted that having spent 114 days out of the first 180 days of the year on medical examination, Buhari’s suitability to continue in office had been called to question.
The statement was signed by the Chairman, National Conscience Party, Alhaji Tanko Yunusa; a lawyer and social activist, Mr. Ikechukwu Ikeji; a former Commissioner, Delta State Oil Producing Commission, Mr. Ken Okolugbo; a lawyer and businessman, Mr. Turner Ogboru; and a chartered accountant and public affairs analyst, Mr. Bala Zakkar.
The group also asked the National Assembly to amend the constitution to remove the power to initiate investigation into the health of the President from the FEC and to also put a limit to the duration a President or governor can go on medical vacation.
They, however, stated that the issue of governance and the President’s state of health had presently constituted a cog in the wheels of the delivery of the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
They demanded that the President’s handlers be made to disclose the true state of the President’s health as a mark of respect for citizens who voted him into power and also to further engender openness and transparency in government.
The statement partly reads, “Our worry is as to the exact nature of the President’s health and the fact that this has been kept secret from Nigerians, who pay his medical bills and who are entitled to know the state of health of their President.
“This situation is unprecedented. When Yar’Adua took ill, the nature of his sickness was disclosed to Nigerians. And when Yar’Adua stayed away from Nigeria for 79 days, it was the present President, Muhammadu Buhari, who called on Yar’Adua to resign or be impeached by the National Assembly.
“The chicken has come home to roost and it is now the turn of President Buhari to walk his talk. While we are not here calling for his resignation or impeachment, we are insistent that the nature and cause of his sickness be disclosed to Nigerians.”
They argued that while it was true that the President complied with the provisions of Section 145 of the Constitution, as amended, in transmitting the required letter to the National Assembly and transferring power to the Acting President, they believed that the handlers of the President were taking advantage of the lacuna in the said section of the Constitution which did not place a time frame within which the President could stay away.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, which filed a suit bordering on the health status of Buhari, has requested an urgent hearing of the matter.
The plaintiff, is by its suit, seeking an order compelling the Executive Council of the Federation (otherwise known as the Federal Executive Council) to declare Buhari incapacitated to continue to hold office and another, mandating Senate President Bukola Saraki, to constitute a medical panel to verify the President’s fitness.
The group, through its lawyer, Mr. Nnamdi Okere, has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the vacation judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, stating that the case required an urgent determination.