The Members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, were thrown into deep confusion, over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC Lawmakers were locked in a fierce battle, over the use of the word “sickness” in referring to Buhari, or explaining his reason for being away from the country to the United Kingdom, UK, since January 19.
While some Members said Buhari was sick and was away to treat himself, others claimed that he was on a “medical vacation.”
First, the House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, made frantic efforts to stop the Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, from describing the President as a sick man.
Ado-Doguwa was contributing and opposing a motion, seeking to investigate the alleged harassment of members of the ‘Kwankwasia’ followers, a political group loyal to former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Ado-Doguwa, observed that the country was already under tension, owing to the absence of Buhari, and could not afford any “partisan” activities that could lead to insecurity.
“Our beloved President is sick abroad. These partisan activities are completely unnecessary and baseless. The Police must do their work of protecting lives and property anywhere in the country.
“The sponsor of the motion failed to lay the facts of the issues as they are,” he added.
Reacting, Gbajabiamila shouted, “point of order”, and requested the presiding Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun, to ask Ado-Doguwa to desist from calling Buhari a sick President.
Gbajabiamila stated: “There is no factual basis for what he is saying; that Buhari is sick abroad.
“The President is not sick. At best, he can say that the President is on a medical vacation.
“There is a difference between being sick and going on a medical vacation.”
However, other Members reacted, raising voices, some saying there was no difference between being sick and going on a medical vacation.
Others shouted in support of Gbajabiamila, saying he was right.
Nonetheless, Lasun caused more uproar, when in his bid to support Gbajabiamila, he too admitted that Buhari was sick.
“Let me sustain the Leader’s point of order.
“Ado-Doguwa, you should not lay emphasis on the sickness of our President, because of the security implications,” he said.
There was loud laughter on the floor, which left Gbajabiamila defeated and helpless in his line of debate.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Lawmakers, seized the opportunity to recall the role the Police played two weeks ago in Abuja, when they stopped the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP, from holding a meeting at the International Conference Centre.
The House Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, told his colleagues that he wept when the Police stopped the PDP’s meeting.
“We came together as a party to review the decision of the Federal High Court (Court of Appeal) on our party.
“The Police came and blocked the whole place. I wept, because that action was totally uncalled for,” he said.
Another PDP member, Sunday Karimi, informed the House that abuse of power by the Police seemed to have increased under the Buhari administration.
He cited instances of Kogi, Rivers, and Bauchi States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, where the Police had been accused of harassing political groups that were not in support of the government in power in such States.
The House later resolved to summon the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and the Commissioners of Police in the FCT, Kano, and Rivers States, to defend the allegations against the Police.