The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Monday dismissed insinuation of imminent constitutional crisis President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence may lead to.
A historian, Max Siollun, had in an article entitled “The Gentleman’s Agreement that Could Break Apart Nigeria,” published in the United States-based Foreign Policy magazine, speculated that Nigeria faces imminent political and constitutional crisis on account of Buhari’s absence to attend to his health in London.
The piece compared President Buhari’s present state of health to that of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
But in his reaction to what he called “needlessly sensational and exaggerated speculations by conspiracy theorists”, the Presidential aide, in a statement Attah Esa
Deputy Director (Information) State House, Abuja, on Monday, explained that it is misleading to compare President Buhari’s case to that of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, adding that the circumstances are completely different.
According to Shehu, unlike President Yar’Adua, President Buhari has duly complied with the constitutional requirements by formally notifying the National Assembly of his intention to go for medical treatment and handing over to Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President.
Malam Shehu added that, “While Yar’Adua was too severely ill to transmit a letter formally to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Buhari is not in such medical
state, and therefore, the country is not currently facing any complications on account of his absence.”
The media aide went further to say that under President Yar’Adua, there was uncertainty about the role of the Vice President because the late President was not in a position to formally transfer power to his deputy, which necessitated the resort to the doctrine of necessity to enable Dr. Goodluck Jonathan act in his absence.
He said that currently, none of these circumstances prevail in Nigeria on account of President Buhari’s absence for medical treatment.
“Having transferred power formally to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, President Muhammadu Buhari did not leave Nigeria with any power vacuum” he said, adding, that any suggestions of uncertainty or
constitutional crisis are imaginary and exaggerated.
He explained that with the Acting President Professor Osinbajo already running the affairs of the country in the absence of President Buhari, people should stop creating artificial fears of crisis or uncertainty, noting that governance has not ground to a halt because President
Buhari has duly complied with the constitution.
Malam Shehu appealed to conspiracy theorists not to pollute the polity by needlessly seeking to create an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and suspicions in the country.
The media aide said that the president publicly admitted he was sick and taking treatment and that he never pretended about his health condition with that open admission.