President Buhari Is Sick, So What?, By Ahmed Oluwasanjo


Buhari is human; all human beings fall sick. He is 75 years old; some ailments come with old age. Above all, he officially handed over to his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo before embarking on a medical trip.

President Muhammadu Buhari is sick, so what? Aren’t we all sick? Why the hysteria about Buhari’s medical trip when various symptoms are obviously showing that Nigeria and Nigerians are terribly sick?

We might claim that all is well, but deep down in our hearts we know that Buhari, his government, Nigeria and Nigerians are all sick. And that is saying it the way it is. The alarming rate at which businesses are shutting down, unemployment is increasing among the youth, there is hunger, inflation and the economic hardship in the land, are all symptoms that Nigeria is economically sick.

Away from our sick economy, the fact that Briafrans are threatening secession in the East, Niger Delta militants are blowing up oil pipelines to revenge the defeat of their kinsman in the last presidential election, while herdsmen have taken up terrorism from where Boko Haram paused, are symptoms that Nigeria is politically sick. The regional dichotomy is too wide for us to deny.

It is only in a sick country like Nigeria that we can have some bloodsucking demons – herdsmen – incessantly invade our territory, launch attack upon attack, killing Nigerians in their numbers, and go away without being apprehended.

As usual, the excuse we get from our sick government for not apprehending perpetrators of these senseless killings is that they are not Nigerian herdsmen but foreigners. Are citizens of healthy countries with healthy governments living at the mercy of foreign terrorists within their own territories like Nigerians are doing today?

For goodness sake!

How on earth could the serious confession of Jibrin Abdulmumin, the suspended lawmaker from Kano State, on how he and his goons in the House of Representatives padded the 2016 budget be swept under the carpet in a sane country that has a healthy government?

Get me right. We collectively suffer insecurity, hunger, poverty and unemployment as a result of the malfeasance of thieving politicians, regardless of our differences. Yet, they divide and rule us along religious, regional and ethnic lines. Aren’t we sick?

If we were not sick, some debased Nigerians would not ignore the dire consequences of corruption to be chanting, ‘bring back corruption.’ If we were not sick, some of us would not be celebrating the release of the James Iboris of this world or protesting the prosecution of kleptomaniac public officers.

It is only in a sick country that sick lawmakers would refuse to make details of their jumbo pays public, and all we do about it as citizens is to protest on social media and then move on.

The symptoms are obvious for all to see. The earlier we know how terribly sick we are, the better we get prescriptions to heal our sicknesses as a country. So, what’s the fuss about the fact that Buhari is sick?

Buhari is human; all human beings fall sick. He is 75 years old; some ailments come with old age. Above all, he officially handed over to his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo before embarking on a medical trip.

As such, Buhari’s foreign medical trip is not completely the same as that of the late former president, Musa Yar’Adua in 2009. However, that Buhari is not opening up on his health status is also a symptom that our democracy is sick. Ideally, Nigerians whose taxes are used to foot his medical trip ought to know his health status.

Concealing Buhari’s health status would continue to attract unnecessary suspicion and rumours. Senator Bennie Sanders, the Democratic Party of America’s second runner up in the 2016 party primaries, silenced rumour-mongers about his health status by making his medical report public. Would Buhari do the same?

Of course, it would be easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than it would be for Buhari, who had a hard time making a public declaration of his asset, to make his medical report public.

That notwithstanding, that some persons are jubilantly spreading the rumour of Buhari’s death. Praying and wishing our president dead is symptom of a deadly moral disease that has infested so many in our society. It is only in a sick country that some sick citizens would go so low as to be designing the obituary posters of a president still very much alive.

Well, we cannot blame them. After all, a sick newspaper published a wraparound death wish advert, sponsored by a sick governor, in the run up to the 2015 presidential election. As such, we should not be surprised that some mentally sick persons are wishing Buhari dead this time. The good news, however, is that we will all die someday.

Anyway, I wish Buhari, his government, Nigeria and Nigerians quick recovery.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.

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