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Speak up about your ailment, Gani tells Yar’Adua

Posted by By OLA AGBAJE on 2008/05/15 | Views: 1871 |

Speak up about your ailment, Gani tells Yar’Adua


Lagos lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) has challenged President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to disclose his ailment to the Nigerian people.Fawehinmi gave the challenge in Lagos on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by the Edo State governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Adams Oshiomhole.

Lagos lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) has challenged President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to disclose his ailment to the Nigerian people.Fawehinmi gave the challenge in Lagos on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by the Edo State governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Adams Oshiomhole.

The ailing human rights crusader said there was no reason for the continued silence of the president on the nature of his ailment. Using his present situation as an example to Yar’Adua, Fawehinmi said: “I’m suffering from the cancer of the lungs. I did not put it there. Let me use this opportunity to call on President Yar’Adua to disclose the nature of his ailment to the people.
“I want to prevail on the president of Nigeria to tell us what is wrong with him. We are entitled to know. Why should he be afraid. Look at myself, I didn’t put the cancer there.

“The people are entitled to know what is wrong with the man running our affairs. And he has not told us. He is going to Germany for five days, eight days, 12 days. Oh! I mean it is a slap on the integrity and respectability of our people.”
He lamented that he had to travel abroad before the nature of his ailment could be discovered, blaming the development on the poor state of healthcare delivery in the country.

The fiery lawyer further regretted the lack of diagnostic facility in the country to properly detect his ailment, which, according to him, had led to the growth of the cancer.
He lamented that despite the abundant wealth of the nation, successive governments in the country had not deemed it fit to seriously invest in the health sector.

“I feel very sad that I had to leave Nigeria to seek health succour in Europe. It is even sadder that our own President had to pay his ticket to Germany to seek health succour.
“An American President would not travel to any other country to seek health succour.

The Queen of England would not go to any other country for medical treatment. The Chancellor of Germany would not go to any other country for medical treatment. So he owed it a duty to our people to invest in their health.”
Fawehinmi called on Oshiomhole to brace up for the challenge of leading the country in future, predicting that his assignment as prospective governor of Edo State would just be a stepping stone and preparation for the greater national assignment.

“I know you will just spend eight years there or even only four years before you will move up to Aso Rock. When I asked you to contest for the nation’s president the other time, I knew what I was saying,” he said.

He urged Oshiomhole to make the masses of Edo State his number one priority as soon as he is sworn in as the executive governor of the state, while expressing confidence that the former Labour chief would floor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor at the Court of Appeal.

Earlier, Oshiomhole expressed joy at the return of Fawehinmi to the country while praying for his total recovery from the ailment. He also expressed optimism like Fawehinmi that prayers of Nigerians for the recovery of the activist would not be in vain.

He noted that a yawning vacuum was created in the political terrain of the country, when Fawehinmi was away. “At those crucial moments, people were saying if only Gani was around, a lot of things would have been put in proper perspectives.”

Answering questions from journalists at the end of the visit, Oshiomhole expressed optimism that the appellate court would uphold his mandate.

According to him, “the PDP under Obasanjo controlled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). They believed they could also control the judiciary. But we were believing and trusting in the integrity, impartiality and courage of the judiciary, especially, during such crucial situation.
“Today, we have been vindicated by a tribunal manned by courageous and impartial judges, whose verdict has been declared as outstanding by everyone in the country,” he said.

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