The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday said that there was no reason to call for an emergency plenary over the health of President Muhammdu Buhari.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sabi Abdullahi, said the President has complied with the constitutional requirement of informing the Senate of his vacation, The Nation is reporting.
“There is no emergency for us to say we are suspending or recalling what back. When we resume, all communications that come in will be taken. There’s no emergency here because he has done what he is constitutionally mandated to transmit a letter to us and he has done that.”
“You will recall that we received before we suspended plenary, a letter from Mr. President which was dated 18th, January 2017 where he informed the distinguished senators that he was proceeding on his vacation for 10 days and this is to meet the constitutional provisions.
“In the letter, he stated very clearly that the vice president would take charge of the running of the country. This is a normal thing and, of course, based on that timing, Nigerians were expecting the return of Mr. President.
“Now, we are in receipt of the second letter from Mr. President where he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation and this arose because in the first letter he did inform us that he will use that to see his doctors.
“In this second letter he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation because in the cause of that routine medical check-up there were still some tests his doctors still want to run further and so because of that he is extending his stay.
“This is a constitutional provision and let me say it is within his prerogative to do so and we are in receipt of that letter accordingly.
“This is why we had to brief you so that we are now confirming that ‘yes we are in receipt of that letter formally’ and we know that many things have been going on but this is our formal and official pronouncement to Nigerians on this particular subject matter.”
He, however, said the President’s letter did not say he will be away indefinitely adding that the constitution did not state how long the President can be away for.
“As it is, you said according to the constitution. I’m not sure if there’s any provision giving specified date for the leave of Mr. President to my knowledge. And if you say by our rule, Mr. President does not work by our rule; we work by our rule but the constitution guides us all.”