Concerned Nigerians, a pro-democracy group, has threatened to begin a daily sit-in at the national assembly if President Muhammadu Buhari does not return in 18 days.
On May 7, Buhari left the country for the UK to get medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment. He has not been seen in public since that time.
In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by Deji Adeyanju, convener of Concerned Nigerians, the group asked the national assembly to begin the process of removing the president.
“Today – July 19th, 2017 marks 72 days of President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence from his office as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and from the country as a whole on a medical vacation to the United Kingdom,” it said.
“During this period, he has not made any public appearances either in London or in Nigeria and has only allegedly clandestinely communicated with very few people and an infamous voice note spoken in Hausa language wishing Nigerians happy eid.
“Furthermore, details of President Buhari’s health status have been kept away from the generality of Nigerians while his media team and other members of his cabinet/party make conflicting comments regarding his health. As at the time of this statement, no one including members of his party as admitted by Bolaji Abdullahi the spokesperson of his party knows the true medical condition of the president’s health.
“We acknowledge that during this period, President Buhari has satisfied constitutional requirements by transmitting letters to the national assembly handing power over to his vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on an acting capacity. The acting president has not been able to exert political will and is being continuously subdued by the antics of the cabal around the ailing president. The same cabal that has kept the president away from the country without any explanation.
“We also recognise the failure of the Leadership of the national assembly in launching an investigation or setting up a panel to look into the true status of the President’s health as we believe that they have been compromised and working with the cabal against the Nigerian people. The Leadership of the national assembly must choose between the Nigerian people and the cabal. 72 days is too long for a commander-in-chief to be away from his country without any explanation to the people that voted him.
“If the president has become incapacitated, he should do the honourable thing and resign. President Buhari cannot continue to hold the country to ransom. Nigeria must move forward with or without him.
“We hereby demand that the national assembly invoke section 144 sub section 4 of the Nigerian constitution and direct the setting up of a medical panel in conjunction with the acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to ascertain whether the president is incapacitated.
“This medical panel will be a team of five doctors from which one of them will be the personal physician of the president while the other four will be appointed by the senate president.
“If the president is found with any infirmity that renders him incapable of discharging his duties, the senate president and the speaker of the house of representatives shall officially declare him incapable of discharging his duties and declare his office vacant as prescribed in subsection 2 of section 143.
“To this end, if the Legislature fails to act, we will commence a daily sit-in at the national assembly on from the 90th day of President Buhari’s absence from the country.”