The President’s right to medical attention abroad and the law -GCFRNG

The 37th American President, Richard Milhous Nixon in a speech in 1968 after nomination urged Americans thus: “let us begin by committing to the truth, to see it like it is and tell it like it is, to find the truth, to speak the truth and live with the truth. That’s what we’ll do”.

From a distinctive perspective therefore, truth is a constant and a universal virtue, which when spoken sets a Nation and it people free. Truth neither fades or diminishes, its like light over darkness and an exceedingly prized.

It is in realization of the efficacy of knowing the truth and speaking it than rationalize about it, that Nigerians are charged to devote time to investigate the law, to find out why a few Nigerians in the UK on regular basis suffer themselves to embark in unprofitable protests and mischief against President Buhari each time, he went to the UK.

Nigerians will recall that, when President Muhammadu Buhari was in the United Kingdom on July 28th 2021 to be part of the community of world leaders and Heads off governments invited to participate in the Global Partnership Summit on Financing Global Partnership for education (GPEe-2021-2025) co-hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, held on July 29th in London, a few Nigerians, more for political consideration rather than the love for Nigeria, went out protesting.

It is interesting to note that before the President left the shores of Nigeria for the summit, his spokesman, Femi Adesina, graciously and responsibility in advance, informed Nigerians that, the President would use the opportunity of his visit to keep a scheduled medical appointment with his Doctor in London.

As a mark of concern for other Nigerians, President Buhari before departing to Nigeria visited the National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwwaju Bola Tinibu in his home in London to wish him a quick recovery. Bola Tinibu also was in the UK for medical attentions though no protests were held.

It remains a sad commentry demeaning of the Nigeria people that no sooner   the President arrived London than a few professional protesters unjustifiably greeted his presence with an ill-organized, open protest near the Nigerian House in London. The protest after all did not distract the Nigeria President from his set mission and agenda in the Uk.

However, Patriotic Nigerians, have continued to ask, whether the Protesters in truth bordered to exactly know why the President was in the UK, before embarking on said dishonourable protests.

It is pertinent to remind Nigerians that, the Global Summit as explained by it organizers, was meant to bring together select Heads of state and governments as well as critical stakeholders and leaders to provide a platform for the partnering states, Nigeria inclusive, to chart the way forward towards transforming education systems in member countries, through the exchange of best world practices.

As Femi Adesina previously informed before the visit, President Buhari whilst in London was also expected to hold Bi-lateral talks with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, President Uhuru Kenyatta and other world leaders with a view to extract beneficial commitments for good working relationship with Nigeria.   

A cursory review of the foregoing disclosure without mincing words and without any bias would manifestly point to the fact that, President Buhari’s scheduled medical appointment in London was not the principal agenda of his presence in the UK, but only was incidental to his presence for his Global Submit.

If proper questions must be asked, what then is the justification for the so-called protest, in London? Was it not to make mischief? Assuming for purposes of arguments that, the President’s presence in the UK, was strictly to keep a scheduled medical appointment, the questions begging for urgent answers from so-called protesters would include; what law did President Buhari infringed/breached by proceeding to keep a scheduled medical appointment with his Doctor? Does the President need permission from them to do that?.

In view of the profiled of some of the participants to this inglorious protest, would it not be an expression of mischief and deliberate ignorance if it is claimed that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended has not, after all give President Buhari the fundamental right of movement to seek medical care in any country of his choice and before a medical Doctor of his own choice? Is this not right sacrosanct and cannot be derogated from what out   an order of court.

To the best of one’s knowledge, there is no law in Nigerian barring the President from medical care abroad and if any, it will be unlawful and indeed will be struck down for being unconstitutional in view of the superior FREEDOMS GUARANTEED to all Nigerian citizens including President Buhari in Chapter IV of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The Protesters in London should tell Nigerians the truth of any existing law the President has infringed upon. Today, the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, a high profile Nigerian is   receiving medical attention in same UK without protests from these Nigerians. Could it be they are not aware of his presence in London for medical attention that he is not called Muhammadu Buhari? The news making the rounds show that former number 2 Nigerian citizen Gen Diya is dead in the UK, what did he go there to do? and why has there been no protest before this time?

Where were the professional protesters when Nigerian Former President, Musa Ya’ Adua took ill and was taken outside without notice to Nigerians for a long term medical care, though he died in the process? Why were there no protests even when it was known before he became President that he was having health challenge?

Could it be argued that, the professional protesters did not know about it or because he was of the then ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) or because his name is not Muhammadu   Buhari of the now ruling All Progressive Congress (APC)? WHO IS FOOLING WHO? Are the protesters fooling Nigerians or fooling themselves? When did getting medical attention abroad become unlawful in Nigeria? The truth must be told to set our conscience free.

The conclusion of the absurdity lies in the fact that, to the shame of the few Nigerian professional protesters and mischief makers, the Almighty God, the giver of life and power showed his hand to proved that “God is no man” when the Presidential Air-Force-one conveying President Buhari touched down at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after spending 18 days of his scheduled engagement in the United Kingdom.

It is high time the London protesters render unconditional public apology to President Buhari and to the Nigeria people for the embarrassment, mischief, cheap propaganda and underserved blackmail and for the disparaging remarks made against a people elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Grand Commander of the Nigeria Armed Forces.

•Utum Eteng, a private  legal practitioner, lives in Calabar, Cross River State  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *