The Senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has dismissed an article by a Nigerian historian, Max Siollun, entitled, “The Gentleman’s Agreement that Could Break Apart Nigeria,” published in the United States-based Foreign Policy magazine.
The piece speculates that Nigeria faces imminent political and constitutional crisis on account of President Buhari’s absence to attend to his health in London.
Reacting to what he called “needlessly sensational and exaggerated speculations by conspiracy theorists”, the Presidential aide explained that it is misleading to compare President Buhari’s case to that of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, adding that the circumstances are completely different.
According to Shehu, in a statement by Deputy Director (Information) State House, Abuja, Attah Esa, unlike President Yar’Adua, President Buhari has duly complied with the constitutional requirements by formally notifying the National Assembly of his intention to go for medical treatment and handing over to Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President.
Malam Shehu added that, “While Yar’Adua was too severely ill to transmit a letter formally to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Buhari is not in such medical state, and therefore, the country is not currently facing any complications on account of his absence.”
The media aide noted that under President Yar’Adua, there was uncertainty about the role of the Vice President because the late President was not in a position to formally transfer power to his deputy, which necessitated the resort to the doctrine of necessity to enable Dr. Goodluck Jonathan act in his absence.