The medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari is still a major discourse in Nigeria and beyond
– The BBC has compared the president’s absence to reality show, Big Brother Naija filmed in South Africa
– Nigerians are not sure when the president will come back
The BBC has compared President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence in Nigeria to the filming of reality show, Big Brother Naija in South Africa.
The popular reality show kicked off about the same period the president commenced his medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
‘’Both subjects were soon generating headlines for the same reason – neither of them were in Nigeria,’’ the report stated.
The report noted that while the howls of protests from outraged Big Brother fans soon died down, the clamour over Buhari’s extended medical stay in London is not going away.
And unlike Big Brother, there are no constant updates – in fact, President Buhari, 74, has not given a single interview since arriving in the UK.
Instead, the Nigerian public has to make do with pictures posted on the president’s meeting senior government officials as proof that he still is alive. Last June, President Buhari spent nearly two weeks in London receiving treatment for an ear infection.
But the bigger issue this time is that officials have repeatedly refused to disclose his illness and are not saying when he will return to Nigeria.
Afenifere chieftain and elder statesman, Ayo Adebanjo recently said the presidency is not sincere about the true state of President Buhari’s health, adding that those around the president were taking Nigerians for fools.
Similarly, Former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife has expressed his displeasure over how the presidency is handling the president’s health situation.
In a country where rumours are rife, the presidential statements have done little to dampen the speculation about the Buhari’s health.
For no fault of theirs, Nigerians are acutely sensitive to leaders travelling abroad for medical reasons after President Umaru Yar’Adua died while in office in 2010.
For months, the public was kept in the dark while he received treatment in Saudi Arabia.The period of uncertainty created deep political instability in the country.
The House of Representatives has however dismissed some rumours that it is contemplating using the ‘doctrine of necessity’ which was used by the National Assembly to solve the Yar’adua saga.
“There is no vacuum at the top, President Buhari takes his constitutional role seriously, and has not personalised power, unlike other African leaders,” says political analyst Jibrin Ibrahim.
On his part, opposition politician, Isuwa Dogo says: “President Buhari is a public figure and there is no need for him to hide behind his health issues.
“I want him to be back in the county. If there are successes, he will get the credit. If there are failures, he will get the blame.”
So, while Big Brother fans will know in April who has been crowned the series winner, for now, no-one seems to know when Nigeria’s president will come back home.
Meanwhile, Prophet TB Joshua has urged Nigerians to rise up in prayer for President Buhari, praying specifically for TB Joshua has urged Nigerians to rise up in prayer for President Buhari, praying specifically for “strength where is weakness”.