Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark is not happy with President Muhammadu Buhari over his posture toward victims of the current flood disaster in the country.
Clark made his feelings known during an interview on Arise News, monitored by TNC.
He said in such critical times, a president stands firm with his people.
He added that one would have expected that Buhari should have been traveling to various flooded areas and giving hope to little children who are dying, those surviving as well as everyone.
According to him, there is no government in the country because “we are in trouble in this country.”
Clark clarified that he is not against the president going for medical treatment abroad, but he is against him not transmitting power to his vice, as the constitution demanded.
He said if the power had been transmitted to his vice president, he would have been performing the duties of the president.
He cited Section 145 of the constitution which mandates the president to hand over power to his vice president when he is travelling.
The elder statesman accused the president of the senate of being in partnership with the president as he saw nothing wrong in what Buhari did.
The PANDEF leader also cited an example when President Joe Biden of the United States of America went for a medical check-up for just three hours, and he had to hand over power to Kamala Harris.
“I’m not critical of his going for medical treatment abroad,” Clark said.
“He is a human being and he has been going to London over the years since he came into office. I am raising it now, is because we are in trouble in this country. There is no government.
“Look at what is happening to the flood disaster in this country. A president must stand firm with his people. One would have expected that Mr. President is traveling to various flooded areas, holding the hands of little children who are dying, who are surviving, giving them hope. This is what we expected of a president of a country. For Mr. President to go to South Korea for six days at a time when everything was wrong in this country. Everywhere was flooded, particularly in Bayelsa state, where water was coming through the windows, where the roofs have been covered with water, and there was nowhere for people to go.
“At that stage, I expected Mr. President even if he was away in South Korea to come home to take charge. That was not to be. But if he had transmitted power to his Vice President, the vice will perform the duties of Mr. President when he is away for medical treatment. All I am saying is that those who made this constitution are there, presume that there should be no vacuum when Mr. President is away from Nigeria. What was why section 145 was established in the Constitution? It says that whenever Mr. President transmits power to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, that he will be away for medical vacation, the vice president shall perform the duties of Mr. President until the reverse. Mr president has been casually going to Britain as if he is not the president of Nigeria.
“We are human beings, and this country has important people, so for Mr. President to casually travel from Owerri and we heard it as breaking news that our president is now in London for two weeks. The national assembly ought to have been informed, but since the president of the Senate is in partnership with Mr. President, he saw nothing wrong in that. They will do anything. This is where they should have come in.
“In America, the United States of America, Joe Biden was going for a check-up for three hours and he handed over power to Kamala. Kamala was acting president of the United States of America.
“But this should not happen in Nigeria. The Constitution is made to guide everybody in this country, it is not discretional, it is mandatory. It is unlawful, and unconstitutional for Mr. President to leave the shores of this country for Great Britain without properly handing over to his vice.
“The vice has done this job before, very effectively for over a hundred days in 2017, what is Mr. President afraid of? So one would like to know, what is going wrong?
“Mr. President parks the only presidential plane in London for two weeks, paying for it, the number of workers in London with him and we do not know what our president is suffering from. Yet our money is being spent on him, which he is entitled to. So I am not against Mr. President going for his medical treatment, I just feel that the time he spent in Owerri, was enough for him to visit one flooded area. That’s my position.”
Nigeria is currently witnessing its worst flood in over a decade. Reports say over 1.4 million people have been displaced, with 600 hundred reported to have died and thousands injured.
Several states have been hit by the disaster, including Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kogi, Anambra, and Benue amongst others.