Our President Goes 'Missing' in London

President Muhammadu Buhari

"It might be delusional to believe a leader battling for his life in spite of available world class medical facilities will have the capability of salvaging a sinking ship of over 180 million people" -
Osayimwen Osahon George, journalist at Tori News.

48 days after President Muhammadu Buhari announced he was leaving the shores of the country for London, United Kingdom for a follow-up medical treatment on the 7th of May, 2017, he has refused to communicate directly with Nigerians.

Everything about the President who is a 'public property' by virtue of the responsibilities bestowed on him as a leader has been shrouded in secrecy by a powerful cabal as rumoured.Regular pictures of a fragile Buhari attending to special guests at the prestigious Abuja House in London have refused to surface like we had it when he was initially on medical exile the last time for 49 days.
The mainstream media has remained loudly quiet about the health status or actual location of the First Man of Nigeria who appears to have literally lost the strength to fight corruption which he was railroaded into office to battle. Foremost Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian summoned courage to sponsor a correspondent to the Abuja House on a fact-finding mission but security operatives almost engaged him militarily to abort his journalistic work.

The alternative media again has risen up to play on the sensibilities of Nigerians in the absence of a viable and trusted channel of information/communication to reveal Buhari's true health status concealed expertly for egoistic and thoughtless political reasons. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who is the spokesman of the Federal Government appears to be speaking to himself alone due to trust issues borne out of thousands of incoherent and unverifiable 'Tales by Moonlight' credited to his person in the cause of laundering the image of this present administration.

The Kwara State native had sacrificed his credibility and integrity during the heated 2015 general elections when he was accused of feeding Nigerians with intelligently crafted and spontaneous lies for cheap political ratings. The former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress appears to be gaining felicitous attention from Nigerians patronizing satirical and comedy social media pages just to laugh off the scathing hassles of economic recession which is putting citizens at the risk of depression. A recent statement by the Chief Consultant and Head of Behavioural Medicine, Karu General Hospital, Dr Daramola Tayo, posits that an estimated nine million Nigerians may be suffering from depression and by my understanding, we can't separate the abysmal economic realities of the country from the nationwide disconsolation and despondency.

There are reports that Nigeria is being ruled by a cabal in the name of Buhari who has been rumoured to be bed-ridden. Online news platform, Sahara Reporters claims the 74 year old leader of Fulani descent suffers speech impairment due to the side-effects of medical treatments and he has not spoken to anyone in a while.

Aisha Buhari, his wife as well as the embattled former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu have doused the mental tension faced by sympathizers of Buhari by bringing suspected fabricated goodwill messages of London from Buhari. On arrival, they have revealed the President is recuperating and will be returning to Nigeria soon. The golden question remains how soon? Can this be as soon as the coming of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Bible?

Some legal practitioners are of the opinion that Mr. Buhari can afford to stay 'forever' in the Abuja House, London or anywhere in the world to attend to his debilitating illness as far as he has relinquished power to his deputy -Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who was handed the controversial 'co-ordinating' power as stated in a letter sent to the National Assembly by Buhari to communicate his indefinite leave and power transmission.

A constitutional lawyer and former Chairman of Public Interest Lawyers League - PILL, Dr Abdul Mahmud, affirmed that there is no specified number of days the President can spend on vacation. He cited section 145 of the Constitution to back up his argument: 

“When the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representative a written declaration that he is proceeding on a vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President”.

Buhari who spent 12 years fantasizing and jostling for the seat of the President has being constantly appealed to in good and ill-health to resign as Nigeria takes abode in recession and insecurity from Boko Haram terrorists, killer Fulani herdsmen and high-profile kidnappers like Chukwudi Dumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans - the celebrity criminal.

In Buhari's absence, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed 5.5 million Nigerians lost their jobs under him in two years as against his campaign promise of creating 3 million jobs per year. A recent attack by suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers in Borno State claimed the lives of 17 people with 24 others injured. Gradually, the fear of terrorist attacks is returning to Borno State as the Buhari administration celebrates the "technical defeat" over Boko Haram. 

Nigeria is also yet to recover from its worst economic recession although the Naira is recovering against the Dollar in the parallel market courtesy of the regular interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The anti-corruption team has been firing blank following the loss of high profile cases like that of Justice Adeniyi Ademola and his wife Olabowale, Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the six suspended judges have been recalled by the National Judicial Commission. The national budget of 2017 which is the blueprint of development in the state for the year was dramatically passed in the middle of the year. There are also the threats that Buhari might not meet Nigeria as a united nation following the unbridled showboating between the coalition of Arewa Youth Organizations, Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB.

The recent ethnic clashes between the Fulani community and the Mambila tribe in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State has reportedly claimed 200 lives, 4,000 cattle, precious properties destroyed, thousands displaced with many injured people in just four days. And also, there have been incidents of rape and murder by irate Fulani herdsmen who have also invaded schools with their animals thereby disrupting educational activities as recorded in Edo State.

This anomaly has further divided Nigeria as victims in the geopolitical zones seek justice against their tormentors in futility. The popular notion is that Buhari is sympathetic to the violent cause of his Fulani brothers. All these are just highlights of despicable events engulfing Nigeria as Buhari is distracted with the combat for his life on foreign soil.

But what is actually wrong with President Buhari who has kept us in the dark about the ailment that has necessitated a blood transfusion as well as a temporary vacation from his highly coveted seat of power? Is this a playback of the incident of former President Shehu Musa Yar'Adua of Katsina, northern part of Nigeria who passed away in office in 2010? There are similarities between both cases if we desist from being sentimental, emotional, partisan and economical with the truth. The alternative media is suggesting with utmost credence that Buhari might be battling with Crohn's disease as well as cancer as he has allegedly become incapacitated including suffering from incidents of dementia. With Buhari 14 years above the official retirement age, one doesn't expect a rosy recovery.
As a man of integrity and honour that Buhari is believed to be, why can't he respect the trust given to him by over 15 million Nigerians during the 2015 presidential election by coming out clean with the actual status of his health?

Benin President Patrice Talon, 59 underwent two surgeries during a prolonged stay in Paris, France. His spokesman broke the African jinx by publicly admitting on Monday, 19th of June, 2017 that doctors found a lesion (related to cancer) in his prostate. Talon's case is very similar to that of Buhari as he was also mysteriously away from his country for almost a month thereby compounding the menace of medical tourism at the expense of his local economy.

In as much as most of us still love and believe Buhari could govern the affairs of this country from a sick bed in Europe (similar to the case of 93-year old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe) courtesy of our unfounded and uncanny loyalty to him, we should remind ourselves that being heavily drunk doesn't translate to blindness. It’s time to tell some bitter truths in pursuance of the general will of the people.
Mr. Eric Stuart Joyce, the well-known British ex-military, ex-Member of Parliament and serving MI6 operative who has alleged Buhari is dead without being confronted with hard facts and figures has described the leader of a country as a "public property" that should be accurately and promptly accounted for on public demand.

In his words:

“And so, a top tip for Nigerians. Insist that, like most democracies, it is a strict requirement of being president that your people know exactly what your physical condition is at all times. This practice is not historically confined to democracies, of course. Kings of old were routinely watched in their bedchambers; Queens were watched as they gave birth to heirs. This was all to ensure that things were as they seemed. Requiring a president to show he is capable of running his country, and is definitely not dead, is a simple and practical extension of this."

Buhari's health status has become a taboo topic in Nigeria while the country faces its worst fear of disintegration. This is the chain reaction of having a faulty head in any setting. Nobody will be shocked if a drunken man leads his beautiful body adorned with ostentatious attires and jewelleries into the dirty gutters of Oshodi, Lagos because something vital is missing in his head.

Once there is a problem with the head, the other attached units will struggle and falter. Fate has reduced the almighty Buhari - the messiah of Nigeria two years ago to a sickly man that can hardly save himself not to talk of the sinking ship of Nigeria conveying about 180 million people who are backwardly divided among primordial lines courtesy of the cancerous antics of politicians. Buhari's effectiveness as a leader has become a wild fantasy and a masturbatory feeling Nigerians have to wipe their eyes and recover from because an indisposed man cannot heal a sick country. Some Nigerians are already drafting their condolence messages for the anticipated news of Buhari's demise just like Yar'Adua. God forbid!

Since the main opposition party in Nigeria - People's Democratic Party,  PDP has failed to serve as a viable watchdog to the ruling All Progressives Congress as democracy entails, the onus is on the Nigerian masses to rise up and take the country back from the hands of self-seeking elites through vibrant and peaceful advocacies.

It’s time for us Nigerians to wake up and ask questions regardless of our political affiliation or other attachments to the ruling class. Borrowing a leaf from the political movement of a former PMAN (Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria) president, Charles 'Charly Boy' Oputa, 'our mumu don do!'

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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on smile2georgex@yahoo.com Phone number: +2347053302356.
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