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Medical vacation: Clark, Middlebelt Forum, Arewa Youths, others call on Buhari to hand over power to Osinbajo

Medical vacation: Clark, Middlebelt Forum, Arewa Youths, others call on Buhari to hand over power to Osinbajo


South-South leader, Edwin Clark, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, now on a medical vacation in the United Kingdom, to as a matter of urgency, handover powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to act for the period of his absence from the country.

Addressing journalists, yesterday, at his Asokoro residence, Abuja, the elder statesman described as illegal and unconstitutional, President Buhari’s refusal to transmit power to the Vice President, even as he asked why the President was afraid to hand over to his vice, who proved his competence while he acted as President in 2017, when he was out of the country for over 100 days.


Clark said: “Section 145 of the Constitution is very clear, simple. There is no issue of 21 days and the President cannot import into the constitution what is not there.

“What Section 145 says, President shall transmit to the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, whenever he will be away on medical vacation and in his absence, the constitution empowers the vice president to act for the president. And the word ‘shall’ is used there.

“Where does Mr. President get that one (21 days) from? That one does not exist, except that’s another constitution. I am a lawyer.”


Clark, who is the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said: “The overseeing of the affairs of the government as acting president, is a must because the constitution used the word ‘shall’ which is obligatory. And anything done outside it is unconstitutional and illegal.

“The constitution of the nation is the grundnorm and every aspect of it must be obeyed. Thus, Section 145 is mandatory and not discretional. The transmission of a letter to the National Assembly ought to be automatic and the president of the country does not have a choice to thinker with it, whether to comply or not.

“A President’s inability to perform his functions, even for a few hours, mandates such action of transmitting a letter to NASS. This is what is done by any responsible government. Therefore, it should not be treated as breaking news, taking the whole nation by surprise, especially since it was not an emergency.

“Second, the President of Nigeria is constitutionally bound to inform Nigerians, of whatever ailment or disease he is suffering from. For which government money is being spent. Nigerians will understand; he is a human, and that is why the framers of the constitution provided Section 145. Unfortunately, up till now, Nigerians do not know how much of tax-payers’ money is being spent on their President.”‘


On ravaging floods

On the ravaging floods in parts of the country, Clark who called on President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in Bayelsa, Delta, Kogi, Kebbi and other affected states, took a swipe at government’s response to the disaster as he accused the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs. Sadiya Farouk, of lacking humaneness.

“In the area of the life ravaging flood, I do not even think that Mr. President is aware of the magnitude of humanitarian crisis the nation is being threatened with, when he has not even found it necessary to visit the places, to hold the children who look forlorn, with no hope, in order to give them hope and assurance, that the nation cares for them, and that it will be well.


“People are dying in the flood, people are starving. No water for them to drink. Yet Mr. President does not care, where is the milk of human kindness?

“We have a humanitarian minister that is not humane, who was only active to carryout school feeding of school children who were confined to their homes during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“In such an urgent situation of ravaging flood, she has decided to maintain a disquieting quietness. Bodies such as National Emergency Agency, NEMA, were not able to take proactive measures. Where is the mother of the nation, the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari? Her fellow women are in deep agony, seeing their children dying of starvation and treatable minor illnesses, because there is no medication.

“There are reports that at the Oxbow Lake of the IDP camp in Bayelsa State, women are giving birth under such conditions. Same is reported at the IDP camps in Delta State.

“President Buhari, during the ravaging flood, travelled to South Korea, for a meeting, without even visiting the communities which are under water. A caring President, would have rushed back to his country even he was away, before the incident. Even after he returned, he did not visit the States to see things for himself, neither did he address the nation.

“There was a stampede in South Korea, where about 150 persons died. In India, there was a bridge collapse, which killed more than 100 persons. He sent condolences to these countries. Fair enough! But what has he done in his own country, that is undergoing worse situation with thousands of persons dead? Nothing. This is appalling.”



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