The agitations were fueled on the fact that President Buhari had traveled for so many times since he became President. He has traveled to over 35 countries from May 29, 2015 when he took over from former President Goodluck Jonathan. He has visited Chad, Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United States of America, United Kingdom, France, India, Sudan, Iran, Malta, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt and so many others.
Nigerians have so far been uncomfortable that President Buhari has traveled more than any other president who had governed the country before he took over the reins of power. Although he had argued that his travels had been for national interest, Nigerians had not seen the impact of the president’s travels on the national economy.
However, this is not the issue for now. The issue at the moment is his stay abroad for 48 days coupled with the deceptive stories from his aides who have continuously given Nigerians assurances that Buhari was coming to Nigeria on such and such days. Coupled with the discordant phone calls and the different messages coming from Femi Adesina, Presidential Media Adviser, Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity and Lai Mohammed, Information and communication minister.
Nigerians have been inundated with series of messages ostensibly sent from Buhari. But where Buhari has failed is that Nigerians would have been fully convinced if he could make a call that could be transmitted to the vast majority of Nigerians via any of the communications channels available for use. Many are of the view that such a call from the nation’s president would put paid to the argument over his health status and also end the rumour making the round of whether dead or alive.
As it is now, there is confusion over his whereabouts. This is so because there are no clear indications of the president’s whereabouts, either in the United States, United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia. His health status is also in confusion as Nigerians have remained in the dark over the state of the president’s health. His aides have not been faithful enough to disclose the actual state of the president’s health.
Although some who have visited him in London returned with discordant tunes, some unwilling to talk while others feel pained over the president’s health. But a number of Nigerians are of the belief that some pictures being posted on twitter and facebook from the Nigerian House in London are not true pictures, arguing that some of the pictures are photo shopped pictures that are aimed at deceiving gullible Nigerians to believe what does not exist.
A journalist with the Nigerian Guardian newspaper who visited London was barred from seeing the President. His intention was to get first-hand information from Buhari and put an end to the long and tortuous argument over the status of the president’s health. Security officials at the supposed residence of the president gave him discordant tunes and left him with no information for the waiting and impatient Nigerians at home.
However, Nigerians are getting comfortable with Acting President Yemi Osibanjo in the saddle. From when he took over as Acting President on January 19, he left no one in doubt as to the ability to deliver the nation in the absence of his Principal. The complaints that bedeviled the nation few days when Buhari left the shores of the country are no more there. As soon as Osibanjo came in, he began a move that made Nigerians to believe that the challenges in the nation are products of poor governance and a good vision from a good head could transform the nation for the betterment of all Nigerians.
He seems to be more intelligent with his approach to governance and the inclusion of everyone into the system. He also appears unbiased in his administration of the country. He has mind for all Nigerians to have better life and enjoy the good things of life.
Osibanjo had traveled to a great part of Nigeria within the 48 days his boss had been out of the country. He had toured the volatile Niger Delta region which has been the hotbed of crisis. His moves have brought resounding peace to the oil rich but impoverished region. He had traveled to Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and other states. He had traveled to Lagos also where he commissioned rail line between Lagos and Ibadan.
Within the few days he has been in office, there are accolades from all over the nation. Nigerians from all political divides, ethnic nationalities and groups have poured praises on the Acting President. He has signed bills into law, he has sworn in the nation’s head of the judiciary, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, dollar has reduced and the economy is being stabilized.
In the Niger delta, he has promised injecting $20billion dollars into the Ogidigben gas plant in the Delta area of the Niger delta. He has also made plans to integrate the modular refineries to produce refined crude and thereby legalise the system and create jobs for the teeming Niger delta youths. The accolades were capped on Tuesday when a lecturer with the Delta state university, Abraka, said the Acting President was not a Nigerian.
His argument was that Osibanjo’s conduct and character differentiated him from other Nigerians who do not have concern for the welfare of Nigerians in the local communities. He was taken aback seeing the humility in him and the willingness to impact on the life of the average Nigerian. With the action of Osibanjo so far, Nigerians do longer want Buhari back to Nigeria. To them, he should stay wherever he is because the country is doing very well in his absence.