17 August 2017

Nigeria: Release Buhari's Medical Details, CNN Demands

Photo: The Guardian
President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lagos — The Concerned Citizens of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari's media team to disclose the details of the ailment he is suffering from and the kind of treatment being given to him to end the growing anxiety over the secrecy regarding the nature of his illness.

It also frowned at the attack on the Resume or Resign protesters, saying that the failure to arrest the attackers showed that they were being backed by superior authorities.

The group in a statement by the Messrs. Ikechukwu Ikeji, Ken Okolugbo, Turner Ogboru, Yunusa Tanko and Bala Zakka, said it was wrong for the President's handlers to keep details of his illness in the dark more than 100 days after he left the country.

The statement reads: "We are however shocked and in total disbelief that for some curious reasons the information team of the President is saying that he is a private citizen. For that simple reason they do not want to disclose the illness of the President. Such declaration is highly unfortunate and shows the character including lack of knowledge of people managing the President. Their opinion is that the President is a private Citizen and he, therefore, can decide at will to keep his medical record secret.

"This is misconceived, ill-advised and inconsistent with the express provision of the Fifth Schedule, Part 2 Paragraph 1 of the1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

"This provision of the Constitution defines the President as a public officer. It provides the general principle of the code of conduct for public officers as "A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities". Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution read as a whole makes it clear that one constitutional ground to cease to hold the office of President of the federation is that the President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as to render him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office."

"This constitutional provision does not create a constitutional duty and or responsibility on the part of the President of the Federation through his personal physician to brief the nation on the state of the body and mind of the President when proceeding on medical vacation and throughout the medical vacation period.

"This is a big vacuum that ought to be addressed by our National Assembly if they mean well for Nigeria and Nigerians. However, since the President is a public officer on medical vacation, the people of Nigeria that elected him to have a right to know from his medical team the health status of the President. As a public officer, the medical record of the President ought to be a public document by law."

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