The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari is unwell, ailing and unfit to attend to state matters.
The opposition party stated that Monday’s statement by the Presidency that the president would be travelling to the United Kingdom to meet with his doctors was a confirmation of its position.
The party regretted that the president and his handlers had chosen to shroud the issue of Buhari’s persistent ill-health in secrecy.
Buhari departed Abuja for London yesterday where he is scheduled to meet with his doctors for routine medical check up.
At a press conference yesterday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians, for long, had been left in dark on the health of the president, despite demands for full disclosure.
“This admission, though belated and coming after intense public pressure, has now put to rest speculations and anxiety on the health status of the president, as well as his attendant inability to effectively govern,” Ologbondiyan added.
He recalled that Buhari travelled to the United Kingdom, five days before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April without transmitting a letter to the National Assembly, as required by the constitution.
“Only last week, two days after his departure from the United States where he had gone for a visit, Mr. President went ‘missing’ again.
“When concerns began to mount on his whereabouts, the Presidency claimed he had ‘technical stopover’ in the UK, citing flight issues, only for revelations to emerge from the same Presidency, on Monday, that Mr. President was actually in the UK to see his doctors,” PDP noted.
The party said Nigerians were taken for granted, deceived and left without leadership as Buhari refused to transmit power as required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Ologbondiyan said PDP had nothing against Buhari’s decision to take care of his ailing health because everybody is subject to human frailties.
What the party frowned at, according to him, was the deception, lies and beguiling that had trailed the handling of his health issue.
“Even as we speak, Nigerians are not aware of the ailment our president is suffering from and the identity of the doctors and the hospital attending to him.
“Moreover, it is unfortunate that President Buhari would always embark on medical tourism abroad when his administration has completely refused to address the poor state of the health sector in Nigeria, for which medical personnel are currently on strike across the nation.
“We urge the Presidency to note that shrouding the issue of President Buhari’s illness in secrecy, just for political gains, is neither in the interest of the president nor that of our nation at large.
“Sordidly, the handlers of Mr. President appear to be more concerned about the next election instead of the consequences of a failing health and the blatant breaches of our constitution.
“The PDP therefore counsels President Buhari to be well guided and take charge of his health challenges,” he advised.
The presidential aircraft conveying the president and a few of his aides took-off from the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 3:20 p.m.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, were among those at the airport to bid the president farewell.
Others included members of the president’s media team, Mr. Femi Adesina and Malam Garba Shehu, as well as other presidential aides.
Shehu had, on Monday in a statement, said Buhari would, on Tuesday, begin a four-day trip to the UK for medical check up.
He said: “In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, the president had a meeting with his doctor.
“The doctor requested the president to return for a meeting, which he agreed to do.”
Shehu added that the president, who is expected back in the country on May 12, would undertake a two-day visit to Jigawa, which was postponed because of the ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress.
He said the visit would last between May 14 and May 15.
Buhari first went on medical vacation on January 19, 2017 and returned later than he planned and declared that he had never felt so ill in his life.
The president returned for treatment on May 7, 2017 and came back after 103 days.
Before leaving Abuja on Tuesday, May 8, Buhari received Letters of Credence from ambassadors of Netherlands, Republic of Botswana and Lebanon to Nigeria, where he stressed the need for sustained financial, technical and capacity building from the international community to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.