NLC And TUC Maintain Different Stands On Buhari's Ill Health

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to speak to Nigerians from the UK.

The NLC argued that it would be proper for the President to make a public appearance to dispel rumours in the country about his health.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in an interview with CBNC Africa, that Buhari could not be compelled to speak from the United Kingdom. 

Adesina insisted that Buhari was only in the UK for vacation and was not in any hospital. 

The President is in London on vacation. He is not in any hospital and he is not ill, He said. 

When he was travelling last week, the statement we put out was that he was going on vacation and during the vacation, he would do routine check-up and nothing has changed from what we pushed out last week. 
If anybody has fed something else into the rumour mill, that is just what it is – rumour.

When asked if Buhari would be willing to talk to Nigerians from the UK, Adesina said the decision could only be taken by the President himself.

The fact that he is a President, he still has his rights. Compelling him to come out and talk will be infringing on his rights. The President will talk if he wishes to. If he doesn’t wish to, nobody will compel him to talk. 

The truth is that the President is on vacation and he has given a date on which he will return to work, Adesina continued. 

The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said on Thursday that the President should speak to Nigerians since Nigerians were worried about his health.

Ozo-Eson said:

In the social media, stories circulate without confirmation; I think that the easiest way is to talk publicly to the nation because the citizens are concerned about their leaders’ whereabouts. 

If there are those who orchestrated rumours and they are not true, the easiest way is for him to reach out to Nigerians through a public appearance and a statement.

Nigerians have a right to be certain about the health situation of their President and the people who orchestrate rumours and unsubstantiated reports, one would wish for him to call their bluff by publicly addressing the citizens.

However, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said it would not be necessary for the President to address Nigerians since he had not been away for long.

President of the TUC, Bala Kaigama, stated that Buhari demanded a rest and handed over government to the Vice-President.

Bala said, 

Why do we have to make noise about this? He is coming back; if he were to go and stay for a very long time, it is a different thing. If we have patience, he will come back. We are just being unnecessarily demanding. 

This is somebody who demanded a rest and he has handed over the government to the Vice-President. So our concern is how the VP is handling it; but it his health that has become the issue of the moment.

But we should allow the old man to have his rest. It is normal for somebody of that age to need rest from time to time. If he goes to rest that does not mean that government will not work now. Let the old man enjoy his rest.

If he does not come back on the day he is supposed to come, that is when can talk, but for now, let’s allow him to have his rest, why does he have to come and address us? It doesn’t make any sense.

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