The Nigerian constitution gives the citizens the right to freedom of speech so long as it does not constitute nuisance or threaten the lives and properties of people. Protest had always been the last tool deployed in the time past to make sure that government or a superior authority yields to the demand(s) of its subjects. I mean it has been used worldwide even in the most developed of countries and certainly Nigeria is no exception. As a young chap, the labour movement in the days of the military shows how gallantly the people fight for what they believe in through protest and in the midst of the struggle some comrades lost their lives.
The President Mohammadu Buhari’s health status which has made him become a medical tourist to the United Kingdom has been an issue for some time. If I could recall the Minister for Information at a time Pooh-Poohed the talk in town that the President’s ailment was severe but the frequent medical vacation of the President says otherwise. No man is immune to illness and as a matter of fact we all go through medical challenges one way or the other in our lives but the question that comes to mind is as the number one citizen of the country, shouldn’t we be entitled to know the true state of the President’s health.
I am not a lawyer and therefore do not have a clue as to whether the constitution immune the President in situations such as this but the view point I am looking at is the moral duty the President have to the citizens. Thankfully the President have been widely touted as Mr. Integrity and I think this should be displayed by President Buhari except some hands are actually dictating what should and should not be in the UK. A Special Adviser (Onochie) to the President was credited to have said that PMB is a private citizen and therefore his right to privacy must be respected-that is true to some degree. But certain position(s) are just too important to be left to speculation. He is in a vegetative state, he has leukemia, he has prostate cancer and so on are the “rumor” going round. These speculations have caused pandemonium in the polity.
The Dambaba Suntai (former governor of Taraba state) is a typical case study where his aides just as “Onochie” shielded the citizens of the state from knowing the actual illness of the man and at some point told the world that he was getting better and fit for governance but we know better now. President Buhari has done the honorable thing by making the Vice President Osinbajo act on his behalf and as I have said in an earlier article, Vice President Osinbajo is capable enough to be made a substantive President till 2019 when another general election will take place and the citizens will decide who they want to take the mantle of leadership. This move should not be turned into tribal bigotry as that is one of the main reasons why I think the President had been boxed in a corner as the Arewa group does not want their own to relinquish “power”.
The “Resume or Resign” protest being embarked upon is just a way the government need to see it as a feedback mechanism that the citizens do not favour the way the President’s state of health is been shrouded in secrecy and hence needed to be addressed as quickly as possible. It shouldn’t have resorted to this if the Presidency has come out to say the truth and nothing but the truth they all swore to when elected to office.
Kindly make your comments or share the subject above. Thank you.
Image credit: naij