The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s ill health is affecting his performance.
The party also said that Nigeria under President Buhari is awfully degenerating into a despotic state where citizens are no longer safe as long as they hold opinion contrary to those in power, in spite of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
The party urged the world not to fold its hands and watch as official impunity and imminent despotism override civil liberty and rule of law in Africa’s largest democracy, saying that shrouding of the issue of President Buhari’s illness in secrecy, just for political gains, is neither in the interest of the President nor that of our nation at large.
And that the handlers of Mr. President appear to be more concerned about the next election instead of the consequences of a failing health and the blatant breaches of our constitution.
The PDP therefore counsels President Buhari to be well guided and take charge of his health challenges.
Meanwhile, the Co-Convener of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group, Aisha Yesufu, has condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to United Kingdom on doctor’s request.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had last Monday, disclosed that Buhari was expected to leave, yesterday, for a four-day trip based on his doctor’s request.
But reacting to the revelation, the activist called the president’s attention to the degrading nature of public hospitals in the country.
Aisha on her Twitter page urged Buhari to be a good leader and provide the best healthcare for Nigerians in the world instead of travelling abroad for medicals.
She wrote, “No one begrudges the President’s access to best healthcare the world has to offer. Some of us begrudge the President having that access, and not ensuring citizens he is supposed to lead have that access too.
“Would it be a bad thing for Nigeria to have the best healthcare in the world?
“The hallmark of a true leader is compassion! A leader should want better things for those he or she leads. Want them to have access to the things he or she has access to, and even more. Public hospitals have been comatose for a while now due to strikes,” Aisha added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, embarked on a four-day medical trip to the United Kingdom.
According to a statement, last Monday, by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President’s trip is at the instance of his doctor.
He said Buhari would return to the country on Saturday.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow (Tuesday) undertake a four-day trip to the United Kingdom.
“In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, the President had a meeting with his doctor.
“The doctor requested the President to return for a meeting, which he agreed to do.
“President Buhari will return on Saturday, May 12th.
“On his return, the President’s two-day state visit to Jigawa State, which was postponed because of the All Progressives Congress’ ward congresses, will now take place on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th of May.”
Buhari had, between February 5 and 10, 2016, embarked on a six-day vacation to London.
On June 6, 2016, he embarked on another 10-day vacation to attend to an ear infection.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, had explained then that Buhari was battling with what he called “persistent ear infection.”
Adesina had said that although the President had been examined and treated by his personal physician and a specialist in Abuja, both doctors advised him to go for a further evaluation as a precaution.
He said the President would, therefore, use the 10-day break to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in London.
Buhari returned to Nigeria on June 19, 2016, after spending 14 days in London.
He again left the country on January 19, 2017, on what the Presidency described then as a medical vacation.
When the trip was prolonged, presidential aides announced that the President would be staying back in the British capital to enable him to collect results of some medical tests he did.
Buhari returned to the country on March 10, 2017, after a 49-day medical sojourn, saying he had never been that sick in his life.
He then gave an indication that he would return to London for further check-up.
After missing public events, including three consecutive weekly Federal Executive Council meetings which raised anxiety in the country, Buhari on May 7, 2017, returned to London for medical consultation.
He returned to the country on August 19, 2017.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has asked President Buhari to stop deceiving Nigerians about his health and other national issues.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with newsmen, in Abuja, said it was a pity that the President lied to Nigerians about the stopover he had in London a few days ago.
He said, “The President should stop deceiving Nigerians about his health and other issues.
“Why did he lie that he merely had a technical stopover in London? He should take Nigerians and Nigeria seriously.
“He could be sick, but he should also know that Nigerians are the ones maintaining his health for him. So, he should tell them the truth all the time
“We also hope he has transmitted a letter to the National Assembly about this trip. If he didn’t, that is going against the Constitution.”
However, the Presidency has again spoken on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health in respect to his trip to the United Kingdom, yesterday, to see his doctor.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in an interview with Channels TV, yesterday, said there was no cause for alarm as the president was just going for a medical review.
“Mr President is 100% healthy; there is no cause for alarm. He is going to London for medical review and would return on Saturday.”
He, however, stated that it was only God that can guarantee Buhari’s return on Saturday.
“A man cannot guarantee anything in life; we can’t guarantee the president’s return.
“In terms of his health, there is no cause for alarm. It is just a medical review. We all need that from time to time as there is nobody that is 100 healthy.
“It is only God that has the final authority on things but all things being equal, he would be back on Saturday,” he added.
When asked on the nature of Buhari’s illness, Adesina declined giving details, adding that only the president can reveal that.
“The nature of his illness is private and personal. The fact that the man is a president does not deny his right and privileged to his private life
“Unless he comes out voluntarily and willingly to tell the country his ailment even his medical doctor does not have the right to disclose his ailment.
“He is the only one who has the authority to tell the country, it will be unethical for anyone to speak on it.”
PH Law School Campus’ll Be Best, Chiroma Confirms
Director General, Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Chiroma, has expressed optimism that the new Port Harcourt campus of the institution would be the best in the country.
Chiroma made the assertion when he paid a working visit to inspect ongoing civil construction work at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The director general was accompanied the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to assess progress of work at both the Nabo Graham Douglas Campus, Rumueme and staff quarters at New Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
He expressed gratitude to the state government for the intervention to build and deliver the Port Harcourt campus in order to help address the challenge of inadequate lecture and accommodation space for the ever-increasing number of students seeking to acquire vocational legal training at the current campuses of the Nigerian Law School in the country.
“The last time we were here was when the ground-breaking ceremony took place, and today, there is massive construction going on, and there is progress. I want to thank the governor and the good people of Rivers State for this progress.”
Chiroma, who observed that the teeming rainy season in Rivers State has slowed down the pace of work, noted that the amazing aspect of the project is that the quality of materials used for the raft foundation at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas campus is world class.
“The kind of materials used with what we have seen on ground, it is unimaginable, it is excellent. I can assure you that the problem we will be having is about our students, who will prefer to be posted to this place with what I have seen.
“That is the battle we are going to be faced with. But, I can assure you that all our Law School Campus are the same, but with the development going on here, it is going to be a problem for us to decide who comes to Port Harcourt. From what I have seen it is going to be the best.”
Facilities under construction at the Port Harcourt campus will comprise 14 structures, including 1,500-capacity classroom blocks, hostel blocks, students’ multipurpose hall, 16 units’ 3-bedroom flat staff quarters with swimming pool, gymnasium and lawn tennis court.
Other facilities are, library, moot court/law clinic building, sick bay, administrative block, cafeteria and sporting facilities for students.
Nigeria, Suffering From Leadership Failure, Wike Affirms
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that it was regrettable that 61 years after Independence, Nigeria was still grappling with leadership challenge.
The governor pointed out that because of such leadership failure, Nigeria was now at a point in its history needing God more than ever.
Wike made the assertion at the Interdenominational Church Service organised in commemoration of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor stated that there was hardly anything for Nigerians to celebrate as the country marks 61st Independence anniversary because its leadership continues to entrench hatred, mediocrity, promote ethnicity and religion.
“This is the time that Nigeria needs God more. The country is gone. Insecurity everywhere! Everyone needs to say God; we need you because man’s leadership has failed this country.”
The governor noted that, perhaps, the only thing Nigerians can boast of celebrating was the existence of the name, Nigeria.
“At 61 years, Nigeria is full of enmity, full of divisions, hatred, and ethnicity: A country that cannot put itself together.
“Everybody has responsibility; so, ask yourself questions, have I done my own part?”
Wike also observed the sorry state of Nigeria, and said at 61, it was far removed from being a country that can compete favourably with prosperous countries of the world, given its abundant resources.
The governor bemoaned what has become of the nation’s Legislature that continues to approve anything for the Presidency, and not minding the consequences.
He also decried how the nation’s Judiciary has succumbed to intimidation because its judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear, and wondered what fate Nigerians would have under such seeming tyrannical atmosphere.
“We cannot do the right things. Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent; we are talking about how we will rig the election in 2023.
“Simple thing, transmit election results electronically to show transparency, that really that the person you’re declaring won the election but we are afraid.”
“Where is the Legislature? A Legislature that cannot think, a Legislature, anything they bring is right, a Legislature that cannot say that Nigeria has nothing to regret from conducting free and fair election.
“A Legislature that you’ll close your eyes, anything they bring, about borrowing, you say borrow. A Legislature that cannot say that this money we are borrowing, where is it? Where are you applying it? You have no confidence to ask questions.
“The courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear. You’re seeing something that is wrong, but because you will be summoned in the night, you abandoned your responsibility.”
Wike also blamed the woes the country has suffered on all Nigerians who have refused to do the right things, but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated in all facets of the society.
He noted how ascendancy to leadership was no longer by merit but by ethnic affinity and religious consideration, even when such persons do not have the capacity required to function in such offices.
Speaking further, Wike berated the church leadership over the inordinate dressing of a young man that he saw in the church, and attributed such sight to lack of enforcement of discipline in the church.
In his sermon, Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to personal efforts and ingenuity.
Ihunwo said such foolish people abound in Nigeria because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain and delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds for personal use.
According to Ihunwo, it was baffling that despite having leadership over the country, there was unabated spree of killings, a seemingly thriving kidnapping business with some officers of the military killed without drastic measures taken to return Nigeria to the path of sanity.
While charging the church to rise to speak courageously against wickedness in the land, Ihunwo declared the judgement of God upon the sponsors of such killings and kidnapping that have put Nigeria in a pitiable state that its people cannot celebrate independence of the country at 61 years.
Special prayers were said at the service for God’s favour and grace upon Nigeria and its leaders, Rivers State Executive Council, Judiciary and the Legislature, for the governor and his family, as well as the church and its leaders.
Dreams To Achieve Peace, Dev In N’Delta Achieved, FG Boasts
The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, has said that the Federal Government has achieved its dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development.
Dikio said this, last weekend, when an ex-militant, High Chief Biobopere Ajube, was conferred with a chieftaincy title in Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Beleukoriwei (Pathfinder) by the Paramount Ruler of the kingdom, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, in his palace in Arogbo, Ondo State.
According to him, the present administration has succeeded in curtailing the restiveness in the region through engagements with the ex-militants.
He assured them that government would not renege in its promises to ensure that the region and its people are developed.
Dikio called on ex-agitators to emulate the disposition of Ajube in peace and entrepreneurship.
He lauded Ajube for leading the charge for a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta, noting that he was the face of what can happen in the region.
According to him, “with the likes of Ajube, who had undertaken the task of having 400 ex-agitators trained in his Bradama facility under the PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, the dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development is achievable.
“We’re here to tell this community and indeed the world what Ajube means to us. He is very special and we’re excited that he bought into our vision in PAP which is tailored to change the narrative in the region.
“He took the lead of our Train, Employ and Mentor initiative and has pledged to have 400 of our people trained in his facility.
“He is the face of what can happen in the region and there is no doubt that with people like him, the Niger Delta can truly be the place to live and do business”
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, described Ajube as a proud son of Ondo, who had made a tremendous impact in the lives of his people.
He said the honour was a testament of all he had been doing for his people, and urged him not to relent but extend similar gestures to other parts of the state.
“We’re gathered here to celebrate a man who through self-development and engagement is where he is today. We’re proud of him as a true son of Ondo State. All he thinks about is development, peace and empowerment which is a good thing”.
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe said Ajube, during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta, was grossly misunderstood by the Federal Government but as head of the Amnesty Programme, he stood firmly by his side, to explain that he meant well.
He said, “This honour is well deserved. The story and struggle of the emancipation and dealing with the issues in the Niger Delta will not be complete without the mention of High Chief Bibopere Ajube. The story is deep for some of us.
“So, I’m proud that we’re gathered here to celebrate peace, excellence, leadership, strive for sustainable development, honest, and sincere man that loves his God. I know him when he had nothing. He is a man that has the interest of his people in his heart”.
The Traditional Ruler of Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, said it was not a mistake that Ajube was honoured with the highest title, noting that the kingdom has been blessed by him and decided to display that by conferring the prestigious title on him.
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