President Muhammadu Buhari, may not return to the country on Sunday, May 5, as scheduled, due to health complications, allegedly.
Inside sources in the Presidency who spoke with Sahara Reporters , said that there is a high likelihood of the President extending his stay, on the orders of his Doctors.
Buhari had travelled to the United Kingdom, UK, on April 25, for what the Presidency described as a “private visit”.
Shortly after his announcement, Buhari’s departure sparked a constitutional debate, over his refusal to notify the National Assembly, of his planned absence and hand over to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
In 2016, he had handed over to Osinbajo, after notifying the Senate of his 10-day visit to the UK, where he claimed he would be seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat, ENT, Specialist, over a persistent ear infection.
By refusing to hand over to the Vice President, Buhari breached section 145 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which states that:
“Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation, or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his Office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to that effect, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the Vice President shall perform the functions of the President as Acting President.
“In the event that the President is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the National Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of each House of the National Assembly, mandate the Vice President to perform the functions of the Office of the President as Acting President, until the President transmits a letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, that he is now available to resume his functions as President.”
In 2017, during his prolonged absence, Nigerian protesters in Lagos, Abuja, and the UK, protested after mobilising, using the hashtag #ResumeOrResign, demanding that Buhari either resumes his job as President, or resigns, after more than 90 days of his absence.
Demonstrators rallied for three days, demanding action by the government, with many claiming Buhari’s absence is unacceptable and harmful to the country.
The demonstrations, led by prominent Activists, such as Omoyele Sowore, Charles Oputa, and Deji Adeyanju, forced the President to return home.
His most recent trip is also causing widespread anger from Nigerians, who accused him of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians, especially in the wake of rising kidnappings and banditry in the country.