Politics

Nigerians have no right to ask questions about Buhari’s health – Former Governor, Attah

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Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has reacted to the ‘recent debate’ concerning President Muhammadu Buhari’s health.

Buhari has been on a 10-day vacation in the United Kingdom, UK,  but his stay has been extended indefinitely due to ‘health issues’.

Following the extension, some Nigerians took to social media to voice their concerns and fears about the president’s health.

But Attah has observed that Nigerians lamenting the vacation extension have no right to do so, adding that no one has the freewill to ask questions about the health of their President as his health was a private matter.

In a chat with Vanguard, Attah, who was one of the leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said the debate about the president’s health, despite the fact that he made it very clear he was proceeding on a medical vacation, was uncalled for.

He said, “Why should anybody debate the president’s health?

“The president said he was going for vacation and medical checkup and people are talking.

“What should anyone be debating about that? Are they his doctors? What rights do they have to this?

“Until it is established otherwise, I do not see why anybody should involve himself in such debates.”

Speaking further, Attah chided ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo for calling for Igbo presidency in 2019.

Recall that Obasanjo had recently called on the Igbos to take shot at the presidency in 2019.

But in his reaction, Attah said, “I have had occasions to really disagree with former President Obasanjo and I made strenuous effort to make sure that I did not insult him but there are times you really have to wonder what his intentions are when he does certain things.

“I am going to take you back to 2002 when we were talking about whether or not Obasanjo should have second term. People who wanted to play to the gallery said, yes that he must have a second term. Let me even digress at this point and tell you something that has been my recent view on this second term.

“Now let me go back to the story of 2002. It was an expanded caucus meeting of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. I asked the question and they said the decision for a second term for Obasanjo was not going to be taken through voice vote that we were going to speak one by one and I am going to

name names because one person stood up and said yes, he should have a second term and many others followed suit.

“I stood up and I asked, what was the hurry all about? We are a family, we are a party, why don’t we wait till then and when we get there (primaries) we would decide who was best to pick our ticket and I said that was what we should do. Why the rush to now predetermine who would be our flag-bearer? Why must we agree on this second term now?

“Then, former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, stood up and said, ‘if we agree that Obasanjo should have second term, when it is the time of the North, would you allow the North to have two terms?

“The whole house echoed, yes! Did it happen? No. That was where the division in Nigerian politics came in. Why was it that when Yar’Adua died, since he was Obasanjo’s choice for the North and the North accepted him, sick as he was, why was it that when he could not even complete one term, the North was not allowed to complete that term or even go ahead to have a second term?

“We took it from the North. Would you be happy if it was you? Today, the North has got the presidency since we have now decided, yes to second term before the north can even have a second term, you are suggesting Igbo. Is that not divisive?

“So, I do not see that thing (Obasanjo’s advocacy) as being sincere. I think it is a means of just creating further confusion in this country. People should ask him why he wants to be divisive, but if he says he is not divisive, let him bring out the logic,” the former governor noted.

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