Editor’s note: President Muhammadu Buhari’s health condition has really become the issue of debate among Nigerians, especially the political watchers and analysts as they are either asking the president to go abroad to seek better treatment or asking him to resign and allow his vice to continue with his vision.
In this article, Toyin Dawodu analyses while President Muhammadu Buhari should resign his position based on health condition and allow his vice to continue.
A recent report in the popular and much-respected Nigerian publication, SaharaReporters, revealed that President Buhari is having difficulty eating and drinking but is not being allowed to travel for medical treatment. As of this writing, the president has not refuted this report.
For more than six months, Buhari’s administration has kept quiet on the president’s deteriorating health. No one has even told the citizens of Nigeria what ails the president. We don’t know if he is capable of discharging his constitutional duties.
We don’t know if he has the ability to make sound decisions anymore. We don’t even know if he retains power over his own day to day activities. All we know is something is most certainly wrong.
We have men and women whom we elected to office who have not demanded transparency of Buhari’s administration. The Nigerian people have a right to know if their president is unable to fulfill his duties.
In a statement issued by Chief Bisi Akande, the founding National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Akande called on Nigerians to “pray fervently” for Buhari’s health.
After prayers, then what? Buhari is sick! He cannot perform his duties. If Chief Akande wants to lead any movement for Nigerians, it should involve more than just sending prayers. There must also be progressive action.
A movement that truly helps Nigeria would be encouraging Buhari to resign to allow his capable Vice President to lead the nation. Refusing to act is not an option, and failure to do so will result in electoral punishment for APC, come 2019.
Leaders like Barrister Falana are urging the president to go on medical leave. Nonsense! Ask the president outright, “What ails you, Mr. President?” and “If you cannot perform your duties, sir, we respectfully ask that you resign.” Are Nigerian leaders really so gutless they would rather watch Nigeria descend into chaos than to demand what is right?
This level of incompetence reminds me of an article I wrote two years ago in which I postulated that Nigeria is not a country, but a conspiracy of the elites.
It is unethical and perhaps even unconstitutional for representatives to stand by in silence when Chapter VI, Section 144 (1) of the Nigerian constitution gives them the power to relieve Buhari of his duties if he is too sick to lead Nigeria..
Now, the question is who among Nigeria’s den of “legisla-thieves” will stand up and make such a demand?
Is it the President of the Senate who is currently under indictment for corruption? Maybe one of the spineless corrupt leaders of the so-called ruling party will speak up. Even the elected leaders of the opposition have gone silent. My theory is that they owe their various legislative committee chairmanships to the conspiracy that ushered in both the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.
And so, the conspiracy continues. The nation is almost at a standstill. The people grin and bear it while the elites play host as cruise directors of the sinking ship that is Nigeria.
It is time for people to rise up
Two years ago, President Jonathan summoned enough courage to constitute a national conference but lacked the will to follow through implementing the outcomes decided in the conference. So too the leaders of the APC - who cooperatively are just as corrupt as the Katsina Mafia - are too spineless to make their party implement regional autonomy or complete federation as called for in the constitution.
Courageous people like Fani Kayode have advocated regional autonomy. The elites would never allow such a thing to happen because they don’t want to risk losing their grip on the corrupt, yet profitable, centralized system from which they derive their power.
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Restoring order is now left for the people of Nigeria, and we will do what we must. A revolution that cannot be brought about peacefully will lead to unforeseen circumstances. Let me be clear. I am not advocating violence or the unconstitutional removal of President Buhari. But it may be time for Nigerians to review, protect and strengthen whatever remains of the bond that holds the country together.
We must acknowledge the fact that President Buhari is very sick. He may not recover. As a fellow Nigerian, my heart aches for him and I fervently pray for his full recovery. But that is not all that must be done.
In my recent article about Buhari's health, I urged him to retire from his post and focus on his health. But even if that is Buhari’s wish, his handlers are unwilling to comply. These are greedy men who only care about maintaining their control of Nigeria’s resources, not the recovery and success of Nigeria as a nation.
They are the Kyaris and the Dauras of the country. The President’s two closest advisers have been implicated in several corrupt allegations by Nigerian newspapers. Neither the president or his henchmen have made any attempts to refute any of the allegations.
If Buhari fails to resign, Nigeria is in danger of imploding politically. If he loves Nigeria as much as he claims, he will not lie on his deathbed and refuse to pave way for an orderly transfer of power. Nigeria has a capable vice president who can successfully and healthfully finish the term of Buhari’s administration and create a legacy for his presidency.
There is an old theater saying: "An actor leaves the stage while the ovation is loudest."
Nigerians elected President Buhari because Nigeria is in need of change. So far, the only change that has taken place is the driving of Nigeria's economy into a ditch. The APC party by which Buhari came to power has proved it is just as incompetent as the PDP it succeeded.
Some people would like to believe Nigeria needed Buhari to continue the fight against corruption. But Buhari’s cohorts are corrupt. How effective can he really be in a fight against those closest to him?
Anyone who knows the history of Nigeria would understand that Buhari may claim not to be corrupt, but he has the mandate to maintain the stranglehold of the Fulani or the Katsina Mafia with the full cooperation of the greedy elites on the Nigerian economy.
When Buhari announced that he was still interested in running the affairs of Nigeria, I was just as enthusiastic as every Nigerian to support his efforts. But the moment he announced his transition committee and made Ahmed Joda his transition chairman, I knew all his promises to clean up corruption were for nothing.
So, now I ask again: Who has the balls to call for President Buhari to step down?
Ahmed Joda is one of the ex-Super-Permanent Secretaries who has controlled Nigeria for more than fifty years. Joda has personally been part of nearly every administration in Nigeria, in one form or another. Does he have the guts to publicly call for Buhari’s resignation?
Are there any national leaders of the APC who will speak for Nigeria? It is time for APC members to take stock of Buhari’s achievements. Has he made good on any of his promises? What has Nigeria to gain by keeping him in power?
Yes, let’s pray for the president, by all means. And then let us demand of our elected representatives that they help Nigerians to protect Nigeria.
Nigerians are hungry for wise leaders, leaders who are bold and fearless. Where are these leaders? Where are the men and women who will lead Nigeria in the right direction, even in the face of constitutional crisis and national chaos? Nigeria needs you.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.
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Watch this NAIJ.com video as Nigerians comment on the claim that President Buhari has taken Nigeria out of recession: