Buhari surrounded by unpatriotic greedy associates. – Bisi Akande

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The former Osun State governor Founding national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande has alluded to a connotative statement from the president during a friendly chat, suggesting that he (Buhari) was surrounded by unpatriotic greedy associates.

As controversy deepens over the disappearance of President Muhammadu Buhari from public glare, prominent Nigerians are calling on him to make his health a priority and seek immediate help.

The former Osun State governor Chief Bisi Akande; Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana and leading lights of the Nigerian civil society organisations (CSOs) issued separate statements on Monday.

While Falana and the CSO leaders were asking the president to take immediate medical leave, Akande delved into the politics of Buhari’s sickness and the implications for the nation and political class.

The statement from Akande read: “The founding National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Chief Bisi Akande has urged Nigerians to pray fervently for President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. The health of the leader is intricately intertwine with the health of the nation. It is moreso in a delicately fragile union of nations called Nigeria.

“I did not see President Buhari at the wedding of his grandson in Kaduna last Saturday. I was sad and I wept.

“When last we met at the wedding of his daughter in Abuja last December, I complained to him that I was not happy about his stressful looks. His reply connoted some allusions to circumstances where an honest man fighting corruption is surrounded mostly by unpatriotic, greedy ruling class.

“He felt painfully frustrated. He assured me he would soon be going on vacation. I then knew that corruption has effectively been fighting back. I prayed for Nigeria. That was why Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu and I rushed to meet him in London in February this year when he was sick and could not return as scheduled from his vacation. The rest is history, but we must appreciate that his poor health is already taking a toll on the health of Nigeria as a polity.

“There are two challenges facing the country today. The first and most critical is the health of the president which, unfortunately, is a development beyond his control and for which we did not prepare. The second is the disorder and lack of cohesion between the National Assembly and the Presidency. These are two great red flag dangers that have the potential of plunging the country into unprecedented chaos and of destabilising the gains of democracy since 1999.”

He further said “the greatest danger, however, is for political interests at the corridor of power attempting to feast on the health of the President in a dangerous manner that may aggravate the problems between the executive and the National Assembly without realising if, in the end, it could drag the entire country into avoidable doom.

“As delicately fragile the union of nations making up Nigeria, so delicately fragile the democracy and the rule of laws governing the polity of the union called Nigerian Federation. Certain Nigerian leaders, having been blindfolded by corruption, assume the possibility of using money in manipulating the national security agencies to intimidate, suppress and hold down certain ethnic nationalities or playing one ethnic nationality against the other, with a view to undermining the constitution and perversely upturning the rule of law.

“To avoid the ugly consequences of letting President Buhari’s ailments throw Nigeria into confusion, I am urging all Nigerians to begin to pray for his divine healing and perfect recovery.

“Let me warn today that those who wish to harvest political gains out of the health of the president are mistaken. This is not Nigeria of 1993. We are in a new national and global era of constitutionalism and order. We hope Nigerians have enough patience to learn from history.

“My greatest fear, however, is that the country should not be allowed to slide into anarchy and disorder of a monumental proportion.”

The joint statement by Falana and the CSOs was equally signed by Jibrin Ibrahim, Debo Adeniran, Chris Kwaja, Y. Z. Ya’u, Chom Bagu, Olanrewaju Suraju, Ezenwa Nwagwu, Anwal Musa Rafsanjani, David Ugolor, ‘Sina Odugbemi, Muhammed Attah and Adetokunbo Mumuni.

The statement read: “When President Mohammadu Buhari was recently in the United Kingdom on a medical vacation, which lasted 59 days, many public officers said he was ‘hale and hearty.’ But upon his return to the country, President Buhari disclosed that he had never been that sick in his entire life.

“Even though the president did not disclose the nature of his ailment, he revealed that he went through blood transfusion. While thanking the Nigerian people for their prayers, the president announced that he might soon travel back for further medical treatment.

“A few weeks ago, the governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir el-Rufai, urged Nigerians to give President Buhari time to recover from his sickness. The plea was made after the governor had visited and presumably assessed the state of the president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“However, due to the apparent deterioration in the president’s health condition, he has neither been seen in public in the last one week nor attended the last two meetings of the Federal Executive Council. His absence at the last Jumat service in the Villa has fuelled further speculations and rumours on his medical condition.

“But instead of embarking on regular briefing on the actual state of the health of President Buhari, officials of the Federal Government have continued to assure the Nigerian people that there is no need for apprehension over the matter.

“In defending the absence of the president at the last FEC meeting and other state functions, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu said ‘the president’s doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago.’

“As we join the Nigerian people of goodwill to pray for a speedy recovery of President Buhari, we are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay.”

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