Why APC has refrained from dabbling into Buhari’s health controversy

Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC National Publicity Secretary

The National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, in this interview with MOHAMMED ABUBAKAR, gave an insight into why the party has maintained a dignified silence on the raging debate on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health controversy.

Why has the party been silent on the raging controversy over the president’s state of health?
We have, of course, expressed our solidarity with the President, especially after the disclosure that he would stay back to attend some medical issues. However, what we know as a party is that the President was going on vacation and will undergo some routine medical tests. After the initial routine medical test, we were told that he would need to stay back to get the outcome of some tests he took. We were also told that he would need time to rest.
The point I’m making is that as a party, there is nothing that we know that is different from what is in the public domain. So, that is the reason we have not felt the need to make any comment because the people who have the responsibility to speak for the President have spoken based on what they know and we don’t have anything to add other than that.

Why has the party not visited the President?
We don’t feel the need to visit him because we don’t see the reason. He told Nigerians that he was going on vacation and will undergo routine check-up. So, what do we want to achieve by visiting him? You noticed that the people who have visited him are individuals who have personal relationship with him or people who have official responsibility to relate with the President. Such individuals are people like the President of the Senate, the Speaker House of Representatives.

That is number three and four citizens respectively who have official relationship to sit down with the President and share views with him on how to carry on with government activities, while he is on sojourn abroad. You also notice that other people like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande are people who have personal relationship with the President. They have found themselves in London and decided to spend time with him. But for us as a party, we don’t see any need to, because we have not heard that the National Assembly had visited the President or the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had visited the President. So, I don’t know why Nigerians should expect us as a party to visit the President. We need to understand this, that no institution has visited apart from those with the responsibility to do so regarding their official role.

Does that mean that there is no member of the National Working Committee of the party that has personal relationship with Buhari?
I made it clear to you that the Senate President did not travel to see the President as a representative of the institution of the National
Assembly. There was nothing they said that suggested that the Speaker and the Senate President went to see the President as representatives of the National Assembly. The answer is an emphatic no. I want to repeat that the party has not seen the need to visit and if you ask why any member of the national leadership of the party has not visited then you need to speak to that person. I speak for the party as an institution.

What then is the party’s reaction to the calls by some Nigerians that Buhari should resign on health ground?
I’m not aware of any call by anyone for the President to resign. Indeed, I see no reason for that. The President is on vacation and he wrote to the National Assembly that he needed some days to run further tests and to rest. I believe that is not unusual considering the age of the President. Besides, there is no vacuum as the Acting President is doing his job well, and so far, there is no cause for concern.

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Malam Bolaji Abdullahi
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