The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday disclosed that ailing President Muhammadu Buhari recently turned back a government official from London where he is currently receiving medical attention for trying to undermine the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Shehu said this in an interview on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.
He gave the example to buttress his position that there was no truth in claims that some ministers were shunning Osinbajo and reporting to Buhari in London where he has been since May 7.
He said the official, who he did not name, went to the President with some documents but he (Buhari) turned the official back.
He said Buhari made it clear to the official that the man (Osinbajo) that was in charge of the country was in Abuja.
“It is not true that ministers are going to the United Kingdom and are reporting to the President. I am aware that a senior official had gone to President Buhari in the UK with some documents to treat and the President said ‘no, I won’t. The man responsible for the country is in Abuja, go back to him,’” he said.
When told that there was the possibility for those appointed by the President to remain loyal to him, he said, “Anybody who says their loyalty will remain with the President who appointed them does not understand the country’s constitution.
“Once the President has transferred power, if you are the Inspector-General of Police and the Acting President says ‘go and do ABC,’ you are fined if you don’t do it. So, nobody will joke with his job.”
Shehu said the government official was not fined since the President had made his position clear.
“That is to show you that this is a law and order President. If it is a President that wants power for his own sake, he could probably have been giving directives from there. But he said ‘no, I can’t give directives. I have handed over to the Acting President,’” he added.
Shehu insisted that Buhari had not done anything wrong by not disclosing his health status.
He said Nigerians could only hold him responsible if he had promised them earlier that he would make full disclosure of his health status in all circumstances.
Shehu recalled that Buhari promised to declare his asset publicly and he did so despite advice from many lawyers that there was no basis for him to do so.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Bamidele Faparusi, has advised those behind the resume or resign protest against President Buhari to shelve the agitation in the interest of the nation.
According to him, Buhari remains a stabilising factor in Nigeria, urging the protesters to pray for his speedy recovery instead.
Faparusi, a governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, said the protesters should not feign ignorance about the complex ethnic groups in the country, adding that Buhari’s resignation would cause animosity and create tension.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti, Faparusi, who agreed that the protesters had their rights as permitted under democracy, argued that the President had not contravened the constitution by seeking medical attention in London after transmitting power to Osinbajo.
“As much as I was not oblivious of the rights of Nigerians to protest against their leaders, one should not also shy away from stating the fact that our lives as a people are being governed by the constitution and cultural values.
“What worries me most is that these people are in this country when economic saboteurs and corruption merchants are on rampage raping our economy and common wealth to death and yet no such protest takes place. Protest against Buhari to me is a misplaced priority.”