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Lawyer urges Senate to swear in Osinbajo as acting president


A Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged the Nigerian Senate to declare the office of the president vacant and constitute a medical panel of experts to examine the health status of Muhammadu Buhari in order to determine if he can still continue to function in office.

Muhammadu Buhari with APC Chieftains, Bisi Akande and Bola Tinubu in London
Muhammadu Buhari with APC Chieftains, Bisi Akande and Bola Tinubu in London

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Adegboruwa said the Constitution anticipates a fit and proper chief executive, to run the affairs of Nigeria.

“Since I personally got to know of the ill health of General Buhari, I’ve changed a lot of my views concerning his government,” said Mr. Adegboruwa.

“We are all human after all, and no one can play God or rejoice over another man on account of his ill health. I then decided to pray for the President and also to lie low, in respect of my usual assessment of his policies, in order to give him enough time to fully recover.

“But hard as I tried, I couldn’t just convince Uncle Lai Mohammed or any other member of General Buhari’s cabinet, to publicly admit to the people of Nigeria that the President is truly and seriously sick, as sick could be, even though I personally know the true position.

“On account purely of his ill health, the President has not been performing his official duties, he has not been able to preside over the Federal Executive Council and he has not been seen in public for about two weeks now,” he said.

Mr. Buhari’s health condition has continued to be a subject of speculation among Nigerians, especially following the president’s absence from last week’s weekly Federal Executive Council meeting for the third time in a row.

Explaining Mr. Buhari’s continued absence, Nigeria’s Information minister, Lai Mohammed, said the president was “resting.”

Last Friday, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, urged Mr. Buhari to make public his state of health.

Nigerian civil society leaders, including notable lawyer, Femi Falana, on Monday called on Mr. Buhari to immediately take a medical leave to attend to his health.

But in his statement on Tuesday, Mr. Adegboruwa disagreed with the suggestion that Mr. Buhari should immediately embark on a medical leave; instead he called on the Senate to swear in the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, as acting president.

“We cannot continue in this fashion whereby a cabal has taken over the affairs of Nigeria, causing great panic in the land, purely for their own selfish ends. Enough is enough,” Mr. Adegboruwa said.

“It is based on the foregoing that I find it hard to align with activists, who seem to suggest that all that the President needs presently is a medical vacation and begging him to so proceed.

“That cannot be the option before our great nation, with all due respect to these patriots. Somebody capable, fit and proper, must be in charge of Nigeria, not a cabal. And our nation cannot be ruled by proxy, through a cabal that was not elected into office.

“Where on earth did the activists meet with the President, to know that he is sick and deserves a medical vacation? Has any of them been privy to know his health status? Just yesterday, Nigerians were being insulted by the aides of the President that he is so fit and healthy that he will contest and win the 2019 election, when I know that there are ministers and aides who have never ever spent as much as 20 minutes with the President, since they were appointed.

“We do not need to wait for the Yar’adua scenario before we take steps to save the President from himself and his handlers.”

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