Prominent lawyer, Femi Falana and some civil society groups have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to go on medical leave with immediate effect.
The call was made via a joint statement signed by Falana and other activists, titled “President Buhari should take medical leave immediately.”
The statement reads in part:
“As we join the Nigerian people of goodwill to pray for a speedy recovery of President Buhari, we are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay.”
“A few weeks ago, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai urged Nigerians to give President Buhari time to recover from his sickness. The plea was made after the Governor had visited and presumably assessed the state of the President at the presidential villa in Abuja.
“However, due to the apparent deterioration in the President’s health condition, he has neither been seen in public in the last one week nor attended the last two meetings of the Federal Executive Council.
“His absence at the last Jumat service in the villa has fuelled further speculations and rumours on President Buhari’s medical condition. But instead of embarking on regular briefing on the actual state of the health of President Buhari, officials of the federal government have continued to assure the Nigerian people that the is no need for apprehension over the matter.”
Other who signed the statement include the Executive Director, SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni; Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim; Country Director, Search for Common Ground, Chom Bagu and Executive Chairman, CACOL, Debo Adeniran.
Personal Assistant to President Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, on April 30, denied reports that the president was being fed through tubes.
Ahmad’s denial followed a report by Sahara Reporters that Buhari’s health had so deteriorated that he was receiving food and drink intravenously.
“The story like many of its kind is untrue, as @GarShehu said on Thursday, there is no need for apprehension over President Buhari’s health,” Ahmad wrote via Twitter.
He was referring to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu who urged Nigerians not to worry about the president’s health.
Buhari’s health has been a major topic of discussion since he travelled to London in January for what was to be a 10-day medical vacation, but ended up spending 49 days.
Fears that the president had taken ill were heightened by his absence at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, April 26, and the Juma’at prayer service on Friday, April 28.
The president had admitted, upon his return to Nigeria on March 10, that he had never been so sick in his life.