Buhari’s Health vs The Nation’s Health: Facts About The Ongoing Controversy In Nigeria

Nigerians are not subscribing to the information they are being fed with by government concerning President Buhari’s health

A great sense of paranoia has engulfed the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the health status of the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari still remains unknown. The country’s president, has been away on a sick leave in the UK but is yet to return.

Before you start to wonder how big a deal it is for a President to go on a sick leave; the so called leave which was supposed to have ended, has been extended indefinitely. It started out as a 10-day vacation which started on January 19, 2017. The vacation which was expected to end on January 29, was however extended to February 6, 2017.

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As Nigerians hoped to receive their President on the 6th of February, word broke that he was not going to return and that the leave has been extended indefinitely. This development has given rise to a zillion questions about President Buhari’s health; many which have remained unanswered.

The recent statement released by Nigeria’s Presidency has said that President Buhari’s return was extended, because the President was yet to receive the results of some vital medical tests he underwent at the hospital in the UK.

Nigerians are however, not subscribing to the recent answers provided by government concerning the President’s health. Considering the country’s dwindling economy, Nigerians have demanded more answers from the Presidency on the health status of the President.

Health of the Nation

Though the Vice President has been overseeing the affairs of the country, Nigerians have lamented the need for their President to be present in order to provide them with answers and make significant moves towards reviving their ailing economy. With an economy said to be in recession, Nigeria has been on the global spotlight for about two years now, with many stakeholders giving different analysis on how the country got to its current poor state and how bad it has gotten.

Aggressive attacks on oil infrastructure, tight liquidity in the foreign exchange market and depressed private consumption, have greatly impeded the growth of the country’s economy, leading to a hike in prices of petrol, goods, and overall service tariffs in the country. This among many other factors, has given rise to a worrisome atmosphere in the country, with citizens demanding the “change” promised them by their president and his administration prior to the 2015 elections.

Presidency on Hot Seat

As if the limping economy wasn’t enough, Nigeria’s President goes on an indefinite sick leave, leaving his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo to listen to the people’s complaints. Since Buhari’s exit from the country, the presidency has been on a hot seat as all questions pertaining to Buhari’s health have been directed at them.

The question Is Buhari Dead? Is the trending topic on almost all Nigerian media platforms at the moment. Queries and inquiries pertaining to the President’s health, gave rise to the above question which has still been replied with vague answers. Despite different pictures of the President in the UK popping up in the internet, Nigerians are still not convinced with the answers they have been receiving.  

The President’s media aide Femi Adesina, has attempted to calm the nerves of anxious Nigerians seeking answers about their President’s health. Mr. Adesina who says anyone could fall sick, has urged the people to only pray for President Buhari. While Nigerians are demanding that the President speaks to his people in person; the presidency claim to be in communication with him – a claim which has rather deepened the doubts of Nigerians.

Vice President Osinbajo addressesing the press about President Buhari's health
Vice President Osinbajo addressing the press about President Buhari’s health

Vice President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osibanjo -now acting President, have also claimed to have been communicating with President Buhari. The acting President says President Buhari is hale and hearty, and that only he alone (Buhari) can disclose his health status.

Speaking with State House correspondents shortly after meeting with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Osibanjo said he spoke with Buhari earlier in the day on February 6, to keep him abreast of developments regarding the 2017 Budget and other pertinent issues.

Presidency Given Ultimatum

Nigerians are still not buying into the explanations of the presidency on Muhammadu Buhari’s health status. Demanding immediate answers, a political society organization – Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has issued a 74-hour ultimatum to the Presidency, requesting the exact and current state of Buhari’s health. In the letter said to be issued on Februray 6, the group demanded such answers to calm the anxiety of Nigerians.

The group who strongly emphasized the right of Nigerians to know the health status of their President, warned that failure to comply would cause them to take other necessary legal actions.