No Nigerian has a right to demand President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation, the presidency said in Abuja today in a statement signed by spokesman Garba Shehu.
He was responding to what he said were media enquiries about Monday’s demonstration by some citizens calling on Mr. Buhari, if he is too sick to govern after 90 days away, to voluntarily resign his office.
“The demonstration is in the exercise of [citizens'] freedom under the constitution, which guarantees their right to embark on peaceful protests,” the spokesman said, adding, “What is democracy if citizens can’t peacefully demonstrate?"
But on the resignation question, he described the demonstrators as over-stepping their bounds.
“The President has complied 100 percent with the constitution by handing over power to the Vice President before proceeding on his vacation,” he argued, asserting that Mr. Buhari has not breached any law or the constitution by staying away from office to take care of his health.
He denied that there is such a thing as a power vacuum in Nigeria, drawing attention to the competence and general harmony with which the government continues to operate.
To that end, he expressed the view that any such calls by “Our mumu don do,” which coordinated Monday’s demonstration, or by other group “represent an irrational assault on the constitution and should be ignored by well-meaning members of the public.” According to Mr. Shehu, the challenge before Nigeria now is to rid the country of corruption, reform and reinvigorate the economy, and fight crime and insurgency.
“The government is busy with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure all over the country,” the statement pointed out. “It is creating jobs for the unemployed. It has set its sights on the larger picture of the country’s development; investing in rail and power projects and redeeming the country’s image from the mountains of corruption scandals that have marred it. We will not, therefore, be distracted by this or any other groups.”