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Nigerian doctors, Afenifere, others express mixed feelings over Buhari’s pro-longed stay

The Nigeria Voters’ Assembly and the National Association of Resident Doctors have reacted to the latest development on President Muhammadu Buhari’s long medical vacation.

President Buhari had in a new letter sent to the national assembly said he might not return soon as his doctors said he needed ‘longer’ time to rest.

Reacting to the development, President of NARD, Dr. Onyebueze Ugochukwu, urged Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the President.

He prayed that the Acting President would sustain the fight against corruption and insurgency.

“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,” he stated.

Airing his views, 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.

He 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.”

Also speaking with Punch on the development, President of the NVA, Mashood Erubami, said Nigerians should be happy that the evil wishes of some unnamed enemies for the President had not come to pass.

He said, “We should thank God for the message from the President; a message of hope, which should be well managed to advance the cause of good governance.

“Hitherto, Nigerians were worried that the President was not communicating directly with them as they had to rely on good faith with third party information.

“Now that he can be quoted to have said he will stay longer to rest well before he returns, he is only being truthful and honest with Nigerians. We should all be happy that the evil wishes of the enemies of progress have not come to pass.”

Also, the Executive Secretary 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.

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