A civil society group, OurMumuDonDo Movement has demanded the disclosure of President Muhammadu Buhari's health status. The group also slammed the country's activists, accusing them of keeping quiet over President Buhari's long absence from office on account of ill health. The group's position was contained in a statement signed by Mr. Adebayo Raphael, its Publicity Secretary. The reticence on President Buhari's health status, noted the statement, is abnormal and a cause for ruin.
"Ever since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country on medical leave for the second time 89 days ago, neither he nor his aides have disclosed to Nigerians the illness that has rendered the president completely infirm," the group said.
While wishing the President a quick recovery, the group said it remains perturbed about the President's absence from the country.OurMumuDonDo Movement added that the President promised transparency during his campaign, but the handling of information on his health has ensured the promise has been unkept.
The group expressed worry that the President may be battling a severe illness, which could have hindered his ability to fully discharge his official functions.
"This deep concern arises from the fact that Nigerians are being kept in the dark on the nature of President Buhari’s illness. And as we have seen in developed countries, the health status of public servants is a matter of public concern and for whatsoever reason, cannot be kept away from the public," stated OurMumuDonDo Movement.
The group wondered why, unlike in 2010, activists and concerned Nigerians have not come out to protest against the nondisclosure of President Buhari's health information.
"It would also be recalled that when late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was sick and out of the country, pseudo activists, including the incumbent President and some members of his cabinet, went ballistic and demanded the resignation of the late president. Now that the table has turned, everyone has gone mute. Bottomline is, we deserve better than having hypocrites represent us in politics and civil society groups," raged the group.
While admitting that the Constitution does not limit the time during which the President can be absent from office, the group stated that Section 144 subsection 1, 2, and 3 of the Constitution demands that the President shall cease to hold office if he is proven to be permanently infirm.
The group observed that President Buhari has breached his own campaign promise not to seek medical care abroad. It described the President as the epitome of unpatriotic conduct for seeking medical care abroad.
"The amount being spent on the presidential private jet parked in London daily is condemnable, considering the fact that the country is yet to come out of recession and the people are suffering daily from abject poverty and penury.
It is therefore crucial and of immediate importance that the President of Nigeria and his aides disclose the nature of the president’s illness. The disclosure must be done for Nigerians to be in the know as to whether the president can still carry out his presidential functions or not," said the group.
It concluded that if the status of President Buhari’s health cannot be disclosed, he should resign from office.