Following concerns expressed over the authenticity of the picture of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, purportedly taken with President Muhammadu Buhari, in London, last week, some Nigerian elders, on Saturday said the President owes the nation a genuine explanation on the state of his health.
They threatened to storm the London Hospital, if the Presidency refused to come out clean over Buhari’s ailing health.
Speaking in separate interviews, Elder Statesman and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, Senator Femi Okurounmu, and Human Rights Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, said the President’s media team should keep Nigerians adequately informed about his health.
Ozekhome said: “One thing they should know is that a government that is transparent and responsible to the people, must be scrutinised everyday. I don’t want the President’s minders to reduce governance to drama in the mould of Alawada kerkeri, because governance is a serious matter. First, it was the missing Chibok girls, then missing budget, and now the whereabouts of our President.
“With the current technological advancement, the President’s PR people should arrange for him to speak to Nigerians, say on Skype, such that we would hear him say, ‘my people, I am hale and hearty. Thank you for your prayers for me’.
“When IBB, a maximum ruler, was sick and went abroad for a knee surgery, he returned to Nigeria, and told Nigerians. The disclosure pulled Nigerians together in sympathy and empathy for him, and that was one of the things that made him a populist and a listening President.
“Also, when President Barak Obama was on holiday in Hawaii, he posted pictures of himself and family online daily, for people to see and eliminate doubts.
“The President’s PR Managers, are neither fair to Mr President, nor to Nigerians, by saying that the President may decide not to speak to Nigerians if he so wishes. That it is his fundamental right. It is not so. Under Section 38 and 39 of the 1999 Constitution, it is only fundamental rights that have to do with his privacy in his room, his other rooms, and sitting room. Not as regards public matters regarding Nigerians.”
Ozekhome, also punctured the picture allegedly taken with the President, by Governor Amosun, as published in Newspapers on Friday, stating that it was a “crude imitation of the real thing, made possible by photoshop, a similitude of the true situation, taken at a location in Nigeria a while ago, with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in attendance when things were very yummy between them.”
Elsewhere, Senator Femi Okurounmu, urged the President to immediately address Nigerians, in order to put to rest the uncertainty surrounding his health, and douse the tension enveloping the country.
Okurounmu, argued that the secrecy that pervaded Buhari’s trip to United Kingdom, and his refusal to talk to his countrymen, had continued to give room for all manner of speculation.
“The President himself is giving cause for the kind of reactions that we are having now, because he is not acting as transparently as a President should act in matters concerning his health.
“The President is supposed to tell the nation the truth and nothing but the whole truth about his health at all times, so that there would be no room for guesswork or speculations.
“Anytime a President is going to the hospital outside the country, he should tell the nation about it. All details should be made known. This is what is done in all countries, where we have a Presidential system of government.
“But in our own case, his medical trips are shrouded in secrecy, and this gives room for a lot of speculations.
“I think at the earliest moment, either him or his officials should speak to the nation, and let the nation know about his exact state of health.”
On his part, former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said he could not understand why there’s such a ‘big issue’ over Buhari’s foreign trip for medical check-up — when even Nigerian Doctors do the same.
Oshiomhole said as Governor, he used state funds to sponsor medical checkups abroad for “farmers, villagers, politicians, ordinary people, and the media”.
The former Labour Leader, said rather than spread unnecessary speculation, Nigerians should wish the President well. Click here to add us on Facebook