Professor Godwin Sogolo has voiced his opinion on the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been out of the country indefinitely.
He stressed this is how it should be seen.
President Buhari wrote the National Assembly “In compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended,” of intentions to proceed on vacation from Monday January, 23 to February 6th, 2017.
Section 145(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President”.
While section 146 (1) states that “The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution;” subsection (2) of section 146 states that “Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.
Today makes it 43 days, and ongoing, President Buhari is yet to be back; and Professor Sogolo has said there is no cause for alarm.
In an interview with TheNewsGuru, Professor Sogolo said, “We must all show some understanding,” adding that “Illness is a natural thing, and can happen to anybody; we must all pray for the President to recover as soon as possible”.
Professor Sogolo expressed displeasure over comments on social media, and stressed that “We should not see the absence of President Buhari as something that is a disaster for the country”.
“I am not very happy with some of the comments being made, particularly on the social media. We must understand that nobody is immune to illness. We can all fall ill anytime. So, we must show that understanding,” said Sogolo.
Asked, “With the way Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is handling the affairs of the country; don’t you think Professor Osinbajo is the President Nigeria should be having?” Professor Sogolo replied that “The presidency is a collective unit”.
“The Vice President is acting on behalf of the President. Whatever he is doing, he is doing on behalf of the Presidency. We must not try to see it as a divide, as if one is doing better than the other. That is not the spirit”.
“We should all know that we voted for President Buhari, and the President has a Vice President. The understanding is that when the President is not available, the Vice President would act.
“Whatever he is doing, he is doing collectively on behalf of the presidency. That is the way it should be seen.
“We should not try to create this divide between President Buhari and his Vice President. They are all doing the same job,” said Professor Sogolo.