80 Days in London: President Buhari Remains 'Missing in Action'

President Muhammadu Buhari

Since Buhari, a former military man hasn't been visible and accessible to the generality of Nigerians for 80 days, it will not be hyperbolic to say he is 'Missing In Action, MIA' using the army language.

Today, 26th of July, 2017 makes it 80 days that Nigerians haven't officially seen or heard from their icon of ‘change’, President Muhammadu Buhari who continues to ostentatiously receive medical attention for an undisclosed illness in London, United Kingdom.
In the last over two months of Buhari's long distance political 'relationship' with Nigeria, the people have only seen a picture of their leader once after he was seen dining with privileged members of his All Progressives Congress in London on the 24th of July, 2017.
A combination of 7 state governors from the ruling APC and the main opposition party in Nigeria - Peoples Democratic Party yesterday jetted off to Europe to see the President in what is touted as an august visit that excluded his major critics namely Governor Ayodele Peter Fayose of Ekiti State and Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State for obvious reasons. But will the poor masses ever get a chance to see their leader?
The commoners can only hope to hear from the President in their wildest dreams due to the lack of the necessary political connections. The last time Buhari's voice was also heard by Nigerians was on the 25th of June, 2017 when his ‘unofficial media camp’ released an Eid-el-Fitr audio message for the celebrating Muslims in the country.
But again, the message wasn't for all Nigerians. It was for a section of the country as the official language constitutionally recognised - English was ditched by the President as he spoke Hausa thereby alienating other tribes from the goodwill message at a period of growing threats of secession.
Mr. Buhari daringly has also failed to communicate with Nigerians through the presidential media structure as it appears that a combination of all the media team members namely the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; Personal Assistant on Social Media, Bashir Ahmad, Special Assistant on Digital/New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi; and Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie have all gone on unprecedented vacation prior to his costly absence.
All these experienced professional journalists with enviable records of excellence are not deemed fit of a shareable knowledge of Buhari's health status. There is also the possibility of them being informed about his status but lacking the authorization to speak about it. Buhari's health report has been well ‘hoarded’ from Nigerians like petrol during recurrent periods of scarcity.
A study of Buhari shows that he has an interesting personality and a capricious nature which makes him capable of springing controversial surprises like the sanctioning of the late night arrest of justices by the operatives of the Directorate of State Security, DSS in Gestapo Style. 
The latest is that he has overlooked Nigerians in a letter of appreciation to the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde who last week declared a nationwide prayer session for the recovery of Buhari. This has raised laughable claims that the First Man of Nigeria might be keeping malice with his own people.
The constitution of Nigeria appears to be aiding the prolonged medical vacation of Buhari as it failed to specify a time limit for his absence from the country so far he has transferred power to his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which he did in a transmitted letter to the National Assembly before his indefinite exit.
The question on the lips of Nigerians is if a combo of the Red and Green Chambers will invoke the Doctrine of Necessity if Buhari's medical exile reaches the 90 days landmark. Meanwhile, a statement made by the spokesman of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North, APC) yesterday on Channels TV's Sunrise Daily political platform clearly indicates that the upper lawmaking body is not ready to wade into the controversies surrounding Buhari's health as well as the secrecy involved.
Mr. Sabi garnished his pro-Buhari views with the doctrines of morality as he feels it’s a disservice and disfavour to the President if the leaders of the country fail to give him the necessary support at his trying time even if it’s against the general will and destiny of the people which is supposed to be of paramount interest.
The irony of the current political climate in Nigeria is that the 74 year old 'political doctor' assigned to treat gravely ill 'patient', Nigeria has also developed a threatening ailment and battling for an antidote apparently beyond the reach of the best physicians. Now who is the real messiah of Nigeria? Can it be the leading advocate of 'Restructuring' and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar? That answer appears to be less than 21 months away when Nigerians will be heading to the polls to exercise their civic responsibilities again.
The retired major general in the Nigerian Army has become a victim of the adverse upper class citizens’ culture of medical tourism which he promulgated a law to curb government officials from. He has not only sought the services of foreign medical personnel but he has unusually stayed too long abroad. There is no better way to de-market the medical system in Nigeria which recently treated the mother of a prominent CNN anchor, Isha Isatu Sesay from Sierra Leone and also completed a bilateral total knee transplant of a 50-year old woman's knee in Sokoto State-owned Orthopedic Hospital in Wamakko Local Government Area.
Over a year before now, Buhari in a bid to discourage the trend of medical tourism causing the wastage of state resources said;
“While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,”  Today, Buhari appears to have ‘presidentially’ eaten his own words.
Buhari and the presidential jet have continued in their holiday of luxury far away from the austerity period in Nigeria where a majority of his supporters live from hand to mouth and strictly on the economic concept of Opportunity Cost.
Buhari who garnered a majority vote of 15,424,921 was elected majorly by the Nigerian poor masses ahead of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the then ruling party - PDP to right the wrongs of the past leaders as promised in the party manifesto but it seems he has chosen to walk in the anomalous shoes of his predecessors who made Nigeria their personal enterprises.
When will Buhari ever return to Nigeria? The bitter truth is that only God appears privy to that classified information as a rumoured powerful cabal around him have him kept Buhari's return date away from the President himself. His wife, Aisha Buhari told journalists he is doing fine and will return soon. The word 'soon' was also evident in the public response given by the performing Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo when he visited Buhari at the Abuja in London. The word 'soon' appears too vague to sort out Buhari's awaited return date to Nigeria.
The Imo State governor and chairman of the APC Governor's Forum - Rochas Owelle Anayo Okorocha was quick to state that Buhari will return to Nigeria in two weeks time only for a media aide of the President, Mr. Femi Adesina to respond that there is no specified date on his 'triumphant entry' to Nigeria. 
Osinbajo, a professor of Law has been performing well in the absence of Buhari although he is trying hard never to outshine his master according to public views. The vacuum left by Buhari's recrudescing sickness still shows. Two of the federal ministers (Stephen Ocheni from Kogi State and Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State) confirmed by the Senate on the 3rd of May, 2017 haven't been sworn in for any given reason although there are reports that Osibanjo could swear them in today (Wednesday) at the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting. The Fulani crisis has continued unabated across Nigeria with the Southern Kaduna and Mambilla in Taraba State being the recent disturbing cases likened to carnage. 
The Boko Haram terrorist group has intensified fatal attacks in Borno State through suicide bombers and they are reportedly taken some female police officers hostage after ambushing a convoy heading for a social gathering. Just today, some Nigerian scientists ‎searching for crude in Lake Chad were reportedly kidnapped by members of the sect with nine soldiers feared dead. 

The probe into the N13 billion Osborne funds that indicted the suspended National Intelligence Agency boss – Ambassador Ayo Oke and the grass-cutting scandal of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal has been hampered by Buhari's absence. Most importantly, one of the hyenas and the jackals, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of the Independent People of Biafra appears to be having a field day in the absence of the 'Lion King'.
No doubt, Buhari's return is expected to give the needed vigour and developmental momentum to the current administration which is struggling to meet the astronomical expectations of the masses.
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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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