We dont need to hold emergency session over Buhari’s absence – Senate

The Senate has said there is no need to recall Senators for plenary to debate President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical vacation extension letter.

The Upper Chamber on Tuesday, confirmed they have received the letter and said the president had complied with the constitution’s requirement.

Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs Chairman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi said: “There is no emergency for us to say we are suspending or recalling back. When we resume, all communications that come in will be taken. There’s no emergency here because he is constitutionally mandated to transmit a letter to us and he has done that.”

Abdullahi added: “As you are aware, the Senate suspended plenary to carry out one of the most important duties, which is the interaction with the MDAs on the 2017 budget, and you will recall that we received before we suspended plenary, a letter from Mr. President which was dated 18th, January 2017 where he informed the distinguished senators that he was proceeding on his vacation for 10 days and this is to meet the constitutional provisions.

“In the letter, he stated very clearly that the vice president would take charge of the running of the country. This is a normal thing and, of course, based on that timing, Nigerians were expecting the return of Mr. President.

“Now, we are in receipt of the second letter from Mr. President where he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation and this arose because in the first letter he did inform us that he will use that to see his doctors.

“In this second letter, he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation because in the cause of that routine medical check-up there were still some tests his doctors still want to run further and so because of that he is extending his stay.

“This is a constitutional provision and let me say it is within his prerogative to do so and we are in receipt of that letter accordingly.

“This is why we had to brief you so that we are now confirming that ‘yes we are in receipt of that letter formally’ and we know that many things have been going on but this is our formal and official pronouncement to Nigerians on this particular subject matter.”

Buhari who was initially expected to be away for 10 days, on Sunday sent a letter to the National Assembly, asking for an indefinite extension of his vacation.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has also refused to comment on his health status.

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