BY SIMON ATEBA/WASHINGTON DC
Calls for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation are preposterous and unwise, a Nigerian activist said on Monday, a reaction to those saying that the ailing Nigerian leader who is again in the United Kingdom for treatment has become a liability and should bow out.
Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leader, CACOL, said the resignation calls against Mr. Buhari were coming from ‘some quarters’ uncomfortable with his anti-corruption policies.
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Mr. Buhari, who has been sick and away from Nigeria since May 7, is battling an undisclosed ailment, and many have said that he should throw in the towel and allow Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to carry on.
Those who have called for the President’s resignation have included the editorial board of THE PUNCH newspaper. But Mr. Adeniran said such calls were not good for Nigeria at this moment.
The CACOL leader said “we say unequivocally that we do not think Buhari should resign at this point in time. This is because whether those behind the calls believe or not, Nigeria has made a lot of gains with Buhari as President. We do not belong to the category that does not recognize that the President’s body language and the policies he has been implementing have really put the incurably corrupt elements in government positions and their collaborators on their toes and thereby moving the country toward a more positive direction.”
“It will amount to living in self-deceit if we don’t appreciate that Buhari’s coming has made the kitchen hotter for most of the dubious elements in our public offices and the private sector with the will and zeal with Mr. President have confronted corruption with thus far.”
“The reality is that Buhari may not drop death like those who his anti-corruption battle is hitting on would want. We must be circumspect in dissecting the Buhari’s illness and the consequence of his resignation as at now. We need to look at the gains of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, the re-energized anti-corruption agencies, and the reality that even bribe givers and other corrupt elements who previously operated freely with bared-faced impunity cannot continue ‘business as usual’ since the new Sherriff came town. The President being alive rather than being dead like his detractors would want scares those who want to continue the business of corruption to the marrows and that are why they would rather want Buhari dead or his resignation at moment. It is a plot to take country back to those corrupt days of particularly the previous government.” Adeniran said.
“We know some of those calling for his resignation wouldn’t have even suggested the idea when their lord of the manors, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan was on the saddle even if his health status was worse than Buhari because corruption ruled supremely. Aside from this, we dare to say that none of our former Presidents has the pedigree of Buhari when it comes to integrity and frugality. Most of the former leaders own properties and highly unexplainable wealth including Ibrahim Babangida and his hill-top mansion that position him like a demi-god in Minna and Olusegun Obasanjo with his Presidential library and so-called private farm of his at Ota, Ogun state.”
In concluding, Adeniran said, “we advise that those calling for the resignation of the President to shelve such idea because the man has already done what is constitutionally required of him when his health challenges needed to attended to by officially handing over to his deputy to act as the President. Thus there exists no vacuum in power and governance is continuing, making the call for resignation preposterous.
Sick as Buhari is, the kitchen remains hot for the corrupt-minded, and this is why they want him dead or get him to resign. Those who insist he should resign should come up with valid constitutional provisions that say so.