Connect with us

Politics and Society

Resume or resign: Nigerian protesters tell President Buhari

After staying out of the country on medical grounds for more than three months, Nigerians are demanding that President Buhari either comes back to resume his duties or resign. Are the protests justifiable?



Nigerians have had enough of their absentee president Muhammadu Buhari and have demanded he either resumes or resigns. President Buhari has spent more than three months outside the country. A group of protesters led by Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa popularly known as Charly Boy who started the movement #Ourmumudondo a pidgin term for “our foolishness is enough” staged a protest in Lagos and Abuja.  Oputa was teargassed by the Nigerian Police alongside several other protesters.

Three days later, pro-Buhari protesters came to the same venue where anti-Buhari demonstrators had picketed.  They argued that Buhari’s absence did not violate the constitution and carried posters showing their support for Buhari.

Read: Nigerian presidency release photo of Buhari in London

Buhari has been in the United Kingdom on health grounds. He started his medical tourism early this year in February before coming back to Nigeria after two months and going back. He handed over power to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and only came on news when pictures circulated around the internet showing him surrounded with some ministers and governors.

Groups of protesters in Abuja and London have started a sit-out. Buhari, whose illness is undisclosed had during his campaign promised that medical tourism would be stopped. An informal poll taken by a Twitter user asking whether Buhari should resume or resign has seen many asking the president to resign.

President Buhari, just like his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan was voted into power with high expectations, in the hope that he would turn the country around. Two years later, many Nigerians are questioning  their decision as the country struggles with a recession and inflation. President Buhari is considered to be clinging to power when his health is failing him. During the presidency of Umar Musa Yar’Adua, Buhari was one of the prominent voices that called for Yar’Adua to resign when the latter was sick and incapacitated. In a plot twist, President Buhari has found himself in the exact same position and Nigerians are demanding he does the honourable thing.

Read: Buhari and the new economy called medical tourism

Protesters of the #ResumeorResign movement have been constantly harassed by the Nigerian Police who used water canons and tear gas, while the pro-Buhari protesters were seen to be escorted by the Nigerian Police.

Over the weekend, President Buhari was visited by the presidential media team and the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President, Buhari said, “I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I’ve now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed.” Buhari has been in the UK since May 7. His medical tourism continues to spark protests in the country.