Save Nigeria Group (SNG) Writes The Attorney General of The Federation
6th February, 2017
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice
Federal Ministry of Justice,
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S HEALTH STATUS
The subject matter refers.
Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is a foremost registered coalition of human rights and prodemocracy organizations in Nigeria. It was formed as a child of necessity on the 6th of January, 2010 by prominent human rights and prodemocracy activists and organizations in Nigeria to mobilize the populace to guard the country’s democracy which was then threatened by the crises associated with late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua’s sickness. We are non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting democracy, justice, freedom, constitutionalism, security, peace, transparency and good governance in Nigeria.
Thus, we write both as a registered national organization and on behalf of millions of worried Nigerians, to request from your office the full information (backed by reliable medical reports) on the health status of President Muhammad Buhariwho is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Sir, it could be recalled that President Buhari, who left the country to the United Kingdom on the 19th of January, 2017 on ‘vacation and routine medical check-up’, according to the letter he transmitted to the National Assembly, with a view to resuming work in Nigeria today, the 6th of February, 2017 has suddenly canceled his expected return and resumption as he initiallyundertook,by transmitting another letter to the National Assembly on the 5th of February, 2017 announcing thepostponement of his resumption of work as the Executive President of Nigeria, on the excuse that he wants to ‘extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of series of tests recommended by his doctors’.
This sudden cancelation of his return and resumption of work has put Nigerians in serious confusion and stoked anxiety across the country as to the true state of President Buhari’s health, considering the rumours that have been making round in the country both in public gatherings and social media that the health of Mr President hasdeteriorated, particularly as he has neither been seen in public nor in the electronic media(Televisions) by Nigerians since he was flown out of Nigeria for the said vacation and routine medical check-up, and no group or Nigerian public official has been allowed access to him since he left the country.
It can also be recalled that shortly after Mr President left the country for London on the 19th of Januarythere were social media reports that he had passed on in a London hospital, but the Presidency since then had insisted that the President was not sick, saying he would only use the occasion of his short vacation to undertake routine medical check-up. But in what seems like a volte-face on Sunday, 5th February, 2017, thePresidency,while announcing the extension ofhis vacation in the UK,admittedthat President Muhammadu Buhari is sick.
This ugly development, including thedenial, conditional admission and restriction of access to President Buhari and the true informationon his healthstatusis reminiscent of the Late Yar’ Adua’s incident which our revered organization was at the forefront of its peaceful resolution, and this is not good for Nigeria at this critical period of economic downturn, nationwide insecurityand political strife. As you may know, the lack of clearnessin handling the 'vacation' turned 'medical trip' of Mr Presidenthas heightened the rumours/speculations about his health, the most frightening of which is that President Muhammadu Buharihad passed onor has been in coma on life-supporting machine, and thus increasing the political tension in the country.
Since Mr President is not a private citizen but a public servant whose health bills are currently being paid from the Country’s treasury, Nigerians deserve the right to know the true state of his health as obtainable in enlightenedrepublics. Besides, it is tantamount to treating Nigerians with contempt and indefensible for Mr President to transmit another letter to the National Assembly extending‘his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests…’without indicating a definite date when Nigerians should expect him back to the country to resume his duties, even when it is clear that such medical tests usually have the return dates forthe collection of results. Is Nigeria now a banana republic?
In the light of the foregoing Sir, while we join other Nigerians to pray for Mr. President in line with the request of the Presidency, we hereby demand for full information on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhariin exercise of the rights guaranteed us by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(CFRN) as amended, the Freedom of Information Actand Article 9 of African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as this will help dispel these rumours/speculations and reduce the current political tension in the country.
Please Sir, take notice that if we are not availed of the requested information within 72 hours of your receipt of this letter, we will have no alternative than to take all other necessary legitimate and legal steps, including approaching the National Assembly to activate the relevant sections of the Constitution with regard to the health of a Nigerian President as well as institute court actions and organize peaceful protests among others, to ensure that we are availed of these rights guaranteed Nigerians by the laws.
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Barr. Benedict Ezeagu
The National Assembly,
Inspector General of Police,
Chief of Defence Staff,
Department of Security Service (DSS),
National Security Adviser(NSA)