Buhari has not forfeited right to privacy despite being president–Adesina

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*Buhari on a presidential aircraft

The special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina has said that his boss is still entitled to his rights and privileges despite being the president.

Speaking on a television programme in respect of the president’s ailment requiring another trip to London, Adesina said his principal’s trip to London was “just for a review” of his health adding that only Buhari could reveal his ailment or details about his health.

“That is something private and personal. The fact that a man is a president does not remove his right and privileges to privacy. So, unless Mr. President comes out voluntarily and willingly to tell the country that ‘this is what I have suffered from, this is what I have been treated for’…even the medical doctor does not have the right to say it.

“It is in the Hippocratic oath that the medical doctors take. They cannot disclose the ailment of the patient without the permission of that patient.”

He added: “There is no cause for alarm because he (the president) is up and about and doing his duties. What he is going for is a review. We all need that from time to time. There is nobody that is 100 per cent healthy. He is just going for a review. I want to believe that he will come back on Saturday as planned.”

He also said there was no slowing down for Buhari, despite the announcement that he was going to embark on medical vacation in the UK from today.

Similarly, the senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), Senator Ita Enang said that the President Buhari does not need to transmit a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives before embarking on such a trip.

Enang said the president was still duty, but only going for medical attention. “President is still on duty and he is going for medical attention. Mr. President does not need to transmit a letter he is on duty, but gone for medical attention,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed dismay over what it described as deception, lies and beguiling that have trailed the handling of President Buhari’s health issue.

Spokesman for the party, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan who addressed a press conference in Abuja said the presidency had confirmed that the president is unwell, ailing and unfit to attend to state matters, resulting to his latest journey to the United Kingdom for medical attention.

He said it was unfortunate that the president and his handlers had chosen to shroud the issue of his persistent illness in secrecy under a government that prides itself on claims of transparency and integrity.

“Shortly before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April, Mr. President, without transmitting a letter to the National Assembly, as required by the constitution, undertook a private visit to the UK, where his doctors are known to reside, five clear days ahead of CHOGM,” said Ologbodiyan.

He said Nigerians were left in the dark for the period despite demands for full disclosure by the PDP.

“Only last week, two days after his departure from the United States where he had gone for a state visit, Mr. President went ‘missing’ again. When concerns began to mount on his whereabouts, the presidency claimed he had a “technical stopover” in the UK, citing flight issues, only for revelations to emerge from the same presidency, on Monday, that Mr. President was actually in the UK to see his doctors.

“In these circumstances, Nigerians were taken for granted, deceived and treated like lesser men and women without reasoning capacity, while our nation, at those periods, was left with no leadership as Mr. President refused to transmit power as required by the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

“Whereas we have nothing against Mr. President’s decision to take care of his ailing health as we are all subject to human frailties, Nigerians detest the deception, lies and beguiling that had trailed the handling of his unabating health issue,” he said.

He describes as “unfortunate” the fact that President Buhari would always embark on medical tourism abroad when his administration has completely refused to address the poor state of the health sector in Nigeria, for which medical personnel are currently on strike across the nation.

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