Citing the cases of former President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Muhammadu Buhari, Olatinwo said Yar’adua couldn’t salvage the economic crisis of 2008 due to his health challenge and Buhari’s long absence earned Nigeria insults and disrepute in international media.
He said: “Research as shown that during sickness the human brain drops off in its ability to think, feel, learn and react. This is why late President Yar’adua couldn’t salvage the stock market crisis of 2008 owing to his failing health. The period was also marred with falling price of crude oil and a decline in economic indices.
“Although transmitting powers to his Vice President unlike Yaradua, President Buhari’s long absence for medical concerns caused a lot of commotion and panic including an insultive headline and editorial piece from Washington Post tagged: ‘Buhari has been gone for months. The last Nigerian president absent this long died in office.’ This must not be allowed to repeat itself.”
Adding that declaration of health status by presidential aspirants is part efforts of civil society organisations in Nigeria for transparency in Nigeria, Olatinwo cited recent provisions of the National Youth Service Corps, which demand that prospective members declare their health status before participating in the 21 days Orientation Course/Camp should apply to presidential hopefuls who “will be serving for 1,461 days”.
He therefore enjoined political parties and aspirants to “declare their health status to Nigerians just as they will be declaring their manifestos”.