Home ENGLISH VIEWPOINT: Buhari’s Medical Vacation By Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed

VIEWPOINT: Buhari’s Medical Vacation By Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed


There is a succinct, age-old   traditional statement   that expresses an axiom considered to be a general truth: there is no place like home.  People who are quite inclined to savor their wellbeing and   enjoy the luxury of their abode have always acknowledged the value of American idiom ‘home sweet home’ especially when they are away, and will ache to return to their native habitat. This is exactly what President Muhammadu Buhari was reported to be doing in the United Kingdom where he had been hibernating for almost a month from now. He is said to be home-sick as he spends his vacation in a country he was accustomed to the vagaries of its weather and familiar with its hospitality.

Presidency source had indicated President Buhari is no longer  enjoying his stay outside the country were his absence  has been a subject of chitchats , conjectures  and apprehension bordering  on hysteria  since he left. Although he had left no vacuum as he departed, transmitting power to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yet his absence has heightened tension in the country. A segment of Nigerian population  wrongly believed the  president had died of undisclosed terminal disease he had been suffering from at home;  others  were convinced he was incapacitated and called for his resignation  while many more had seized  the occasion to  embark on public protests  ageist the recession-triggered   hardships which had  became universal and inescapable. There were those that beloved he was hale and hearty, having a well-deserved rest in preparation for daunting tasks that lie ahead.

Given these different imagined set of circumstances  that surrounds  the medical vacation  of Mr. President there should not have been any hysteria  about them  since that was not the time the president was travelling abroad to seek medical attention. Eight month after taking office, precisely on February 5, last year he took his first vacation and flew out of the country.  Barely four months after he embarked on another medical tourism and nobody made a fuss about his excursions. Why then should his latest junketing outside the country elicit the concern of pessimists that appear convinced that the country was in for the replay of the circumstances that attended the ordeals and subsequent death of late President Umar ‘Yar’adua in a Saudi hospital, despite series of assurances by his principal aides that he was not in any danger?

It is natural for people to show grave concern about the condition of their leaders, but the swift, hasty rumors about his death or permanent incapacitation were clearly baseless and distasteful. Therefore it is contemptible and ludicrous for anybody to overpublicize, albeit negatively, the details of the president’s medical vacation. What should occupy the minds of all Nigerians was the penchant of our leaders to always embark on medical tourism abroad apparently due to the neglect of our medical institutions which have consequently become prostrated and incapacitated. Why cannot the country afford to offer superlative medical services to the president and other citizens in spite of the colossal sums expended year-in-year-out on medical facilities across the country, including the prestigious Aso Rock Medical Bay? Nigerians need to know these so-called medical facilities are called centers of excellence.

One thing is sure about Mr. President Sojourn abroad is that  it is safe to say he is  hale and hearty against what was being bandied around in government circles.  That was evident by an encouraging press photographs depicting President Buhari playing host to the leadership of the National Assembly in London on Wednesday  as they cracked jokes and laughed  mirthfully The fact that Mr. President had undergone series of pathological  tests for various ailments had clearly suggested he was slightly indisposed and would need treatment and rest before he could fully regain his health This will enable Nigerians have  some relief from emotional distress arising from president’s indisposition.

It was, however, reassuring, to hear Mr. President talking about his situation  when he admitted that he was awaiting the out of various tests administered on him  and that he will not return to the country until his doctors over there were through with him. It was said that he would embark on a homebound as soon as he was in receipt of the test results.  Nevertheless, the reported telephone interview President Buhari has had with the American President, Donald Trump was indicative of his alertness and sound mind which could enable him function effectively after he had returned home and recuperated fully.

Against that backdrop, President Buhari should be allowed to have medical treatment in peace, while Nigerians are progressively informed about the progress he is making. The health status of President Buhari is paramount to all Nigerians since what he does or which happens to him affects their lives.  On that vein, we wish Mr. President quick recovery so that he could return to the duties the masses have elected him to perform.  The presidency is optimistic about his return soon and was no longer enjoying his stay outside the country any longer. As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to give him a rousing and tumultuous welcome to a home sweet home.