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Parties differ on call for candidates’ health status

3 min read

Political parties have reacted to the recent call by the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, Felix Morka, that they can make public the health status of each presidential candidate instead of waiting for the ruling APC to do so.

In a recent Arise TV interview, Morka responded to the inquiry on the health status of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, saying that other political parties should first make public the health status of their presidential candidates.

Morka said, “Now, I don’t know of any other candidate who has for that matter, even right now offered us their full medical profile. I don’t know anyone, (not) even the younger ones who are amongst them. No one has, I’ve not seen anyone. It doesn’t mean that because we’re a ruling party, the initiative to start must come from us.”

Responding to the issue, the Media Adviser to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Ibe, said the constant absence of Tinubu had made Nigerians to inquire about the health of the APC presidential candidate.

He said, “Is the presidential candidate of the PDP the issue? Is he in absentia? Is he an absentee candidate? If you want to be in a campaign, you can’t be in absentia. It is an in-person process. You cannot campaign by posting photos. You have to be available in person.”

Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi, has challenged Tinubu to a two-kilometre walk with Peter Obi, to ascertain his fitness.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, Arabambi stressed that Tinubu would not be able to achieve the feat.

He said Peter Obi remained “as fit as a fiddle,” and there would be no need to release the health status of the LP’s presidential candidate since he had shown fitness at different fora before and during campaign.
Arabambi added, “It is when you are frequenting hospitals that your health status becomes a concern, and our candidates have not been doing so. He has been consulting and engaging Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

“We challenge Bola Tinubu to do a two-kilometre walk with Peter Obi in Lagos. We are confident that he will not be able to do 500m before he is escorted by ambulances and helicopters out of the place.”

However, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Adewole Adebayo, said he would be willing to release his health status before the forthcoming elections if it was made a standard practice.

Speaking with Saturday PUNCH in a telephone interview, Adebayo said, “Take a look at those running for governor, House of Representatives, House of Assembly, how many of them are healthy?

“So, it is not every disease that has visible symptoms. If it should be standardised (the health status inquiry), the fitness of a person who is running for public office should be public knowledge.

“I can release my health status, but it is not to taunt another person. I don’t want to be a jester; I want to talk about issues. Before anybody can talk about another person’s health status, that person has the moral duty to release his health status first. That person should go to a national hospital where a government-paid doctor will examine him.”

Similarly, the spokesperson for the presidential candidate of the People Redemption Party, Kola Abiola, Iliyasu Gadu, described Morka’s comment as “dubious sophistry.”
He stressed that the APC had shown Nigerians that they might suffer a repeat of the experience they had with the undisclosed health status of the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), if APC emerged at the forthcoming polls.

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