Insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari “is absolutely in no danger” despite undergoing medical tests in London, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has urged Nigerians not to compare the present scenario with that of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who died while on a similar health-related vacation abroad in 2010.
Responding to questions from State House correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC), Mohammed said there was therefore no need giving daily updates on Buhari’s health as he had then demanded of government when he was an opposition party spokesman in 2010.
He further argued that unlike Yar’Adua, the President transmitted power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo before proceeding to London, adding that Buhari has in fact, by obeying the Constitution, turned out to be a victim of his own transparency.
According to Mohammed, “I think I can say without any equivocation that he (Buhari) is well, he is hale and he is hearty, no question about that.
“Do you think Mr. President will be ill and we will be here and going about our businesses like this? All our ministers are busy. But I want to assure you that Mr. President is well and he is absolutely in no danger.
“I think it was one of the newspapers that said when I was the spokesman of AC, I demanded for hourly bulletin of Yar’Adua’s health and that I ought to be giving hourly bulletin as Minister of Information on the health of the president. And I said you are comparing apples and oranges.
“Mr. President is not ill, he is not in hospital, there will be no need to give anybody hourly bulletin about his health – pure and simple.
“Mr. President, like I said elsewhere, is a victim of his own transparency. He was going on leave and he did what the constitution said he should do.
“He transmitted a letter to the National Assembly and an acting president was put in place and he said ‘while I am on leave I am going to conduct some medical tests’, which all of us do without announcing it.
“And of course, less than six hours after he got there, he was pronounced dead by some people. Even those who saw him climb the aircraft in Abuja said he was flown by air ambulance.
“I can assure you that Mr. President is well, hale and hearty and there’s no cause for concern. The Acting President speaks to him every day and he told you so.”
Noting that Buhari had since he assumed office been rumoured dead three times, the Minister also described as ridiculous the argument that the president ought not have gone on vacation while the country is in recession.
According to him: “Our constitution guarantees that. Did Obama not go on leave? Do other presidents not go on leave? Mr. President will go on vacation when he has to go on vacation. Do you know how many ministers have gone on vacation this year? To say Mr. President cannot go on vacation? That is ridiculous.”
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