President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to London for medical follow up may have saved him from an impending ambush by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, over his health status.
Buhari travelled to London on Sunday after meeting the 82 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram in a swap deal at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The president’s departure for medical attention came at the peak of concern expressed by Nigerians in general and different groups, over the need for him to disclose his health status and resign if he felt unable to continue with governance.
The Next Edition reports exclusively that unknown to the president, the labour body had secretly plotted to engineer a show-down by forcing the president to make the disclosure on Democracy Day, May 29, 2017, when he was traditionally expected to address the nation.
The ambush to force the authorities to divulge the truth about his state of ill-health was designed to end the controversy which reached a peak in the last two weeks.
It would be recalled that his state of health was responsible for his absence at two consecutive Federal Executive Council meetings prior to his departure for London.
In the heat of the speculations, the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, said that the situation was not as bad as presumed by Nigerians.
Speaking to The Next Edition, a reliable source within the Labour group, who pleaded anonymity, said the actions planned for Democracy Day would have been a showdown.
The disruption of the speech by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and ensuing confusion during the Workers’ Day celebration on May 1, it was gathered, was a prelude to the showdown planned for Democracy Day.
The NLC secretary-general, Peter Ezon, alluded to this on an African Independent Television programme recently, when he revealed that workers planned to demand from the number one citizen definite assurances that the government was not running on auto pilot.
The action, it was also learnt, was assure all that the government had not been hijacked by a cabal whose members were never voted for by citizens as generally alleged.
“During Democracy Day when the president is expected to outline the score-card of his administration, we will insist on the assurances that the president remains capable of delivering the change agenda that he promised Nigerians before the 2015 elections”, the NLC scribe said.
According to him, workers would not shy away from demanding the assurance because it was on the basis of this promise to reposition the country that Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for Buhari in 2015.
The NLC secretary-general said that if the number one citizen failed to provide the assurance and douse feverish speculations ostensibly to re-assure citizens that he was still in-charge of the administration, it would amount to a confirmation of the allegations and speculations regarding his health status.