- Afenifere and National Association of Residents of Doctors expressed fears that President Muhammadu Buhari’s longer stay in London may leave an opening for power play amongst cabals
- The groups also worried about how the Acting President who they believe is probably not having regular contact with the president may be manipulated by those around the President
Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have both expressed their concern over the negative effects President Buhari’s longer stay in London can have on Nigeria and on the Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo.
President Buhari on Tuesday, February 21 revealed that he needs a longer time to rest, thus putting paid to speculations and claims by top government officials that he is actually fit and healthy.
While some are optimistic that the president request means he is not doing as bad as rumours going around, others are worried about the likely side effects that could happen to Nigeria and the Acting President, Yemi Osinbanjo with President Buhari away in London.
The national publicity secretary of the Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yinka Odumakin, said the cabal around the President would put pressure on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Odumakin said: “The implication of his long stay is that the country would technically pause for the period he is going to be away.
“There would be a lot of power play with the cabal around the President, breathing down the neck of the Acting President with ‘the President said’ even when he did not say. They may even sign things in his name knowing that the Acting President does not have regular access.
“We are in for a season of dual Presidency as the power bloc around the President will maximise this season. The President should be commended for transmitting power to his deputy, unlike Yar’Adua, who did not transfer power or possibly had his transmission seized by the cabal.”
President of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) Dr. Onyebueze Ugochukwu, was worried that the gap in presidency may lead to internal bickering.
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He said: “These gaps may lead to some internal bickering and power play. This is bound to happen when those in his management team depart from project Nigeria to pursue personal interest."
Also, the executive secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, Ebenezer Oyetakin, described the president’s statement as apt.
He said: “I am sure that if the situation gets to the extent that he can no longer be the President, the Buhari that I know will obviously take the path of honour and be the first to so declare.
“Nevertheless, he has obtained annual leave legally; he has transferred Presidential power to his Vice-President as required by the constitution and has informed Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, an international human rights organisation has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign and pave way for the acting president Yemi Osinbajo to be confirmed as Nigeria's substantive president.
The organization, Opinion Nigeria said it is important, in the interest of the country, for President Buhari to tender his resignation letter without delay.