Senate sides with Buhari, tells protesters to leave President alone
The Nigerian Senate has told civil society organisations and individuals demanding the return or resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari to get busy elsewhere and leave the President alone as he has committed no offence.
A coalition of civil society groups had been protesting since Monday in Abuja asking the President to either return to the country or resign from his position on account of ill-health. The protesters were tear-gassed on Tuesday but that did little to break them as they continued their protests defying heavy police presence and intimidation.
But in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Abdullahi, the Senate asked the protesters to stop making “unreasonable demands” as their action was heating up an already febrile polity.
The Senate accused the protesters of causing needless tension in the country and seeking to divert the attention of the Presidency from the economic and security issues saying that the President had complied with the provisions of the Constitution in handing over to the Vice President and informing the two chambers of the legislature about his medical vacation. The statement said:
“The Senate noted that President Buhari had complied with the provisions of the nation’s ground norm, the Constitution, which stipulated that he must handover to the Vice President and duly inform the two chambers of the legislature about his medical vacation,” the senate stated.
“The President has broken no law and therefore we do not see any justification for this diversion and noise making. The sponsors are merely seeking cheap publicity at the expense of the peace of Nigeria.
“We, in the National Assembly, are satisfied that there is no vacuum. The Federal Government is working. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is providing the required leadership. So, there is no reason for the protests.
“All Nigerians now should focus on praying for the safe return of the President. We in the Senate are happy about the report by the governors and party leaders who recently visited President Buhari in London and we know he will soon return to continue to provide leadership to our people and the rest of Africa.
“We therefore call on the protesters to stop all these demonstrations and let their sense of patriotism overshadow the zeal for activism by joining other Nigerians to pray for the President, the acting President and Nigeria as a country at this critical period.”