The Presidency says citizens of the country must be allowed to enjoy their right to freedom of expression.
Reacting to Monday’s protest by some Nigerians near the Presidential Villa, government spokesperson, Garba Shehu said the beauty of democracy allows that.
The Presidential spokesperson, who was reacting to the protest march on Abuja, by a coalition of civil society groups, said every citizen of the country has the right to express his view and the government respects that.
“Of what use or value is a democracy in which citizens cannot embark on peaceful protests? We respect their rights to convene or undertake peaceful protests,” Garba Shehu said.
On the calls by the group that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately return to Nigeria or resign, Garba Shehu said: “On the calls that the President should resign or whatever, I think the protesters are stepping outside the laws of this country. Anyone conversant with the constitution of this country, would have seen that the President has complied 100 percent with the requirements of the constitution of this country. What he has done is perfectly in line with the constitution. If people are looking for things to say, I think they should do their research very well,” the Presidential Spokesperson stated.
He emphasized that there is no leadership vacuum in the country, as the Acting President has not disappointed in any way.
“He has handed over power to the Vice President in line with the constitution and the Vice President is undertaking activities of government in a way that the President himself has given him words of commendation. So the President has not breached any law,” he said.
Monday’s protest match was led by a popular Nigerian Musician, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, widely known as Charly Boy.
President Buhari has been away to UK since May 7 on medical vacation and the country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is acting in his stead, pending when the President’s doctors permit him to resume his normal duties in Abuja.