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On Buhari’s return…and doubting Thomases

*Only gods who never fall ill can question why Buhari is sick

Some weeks ago, I wrote an article under the title, When President Trump spoke to a ghost. In the said article, I wrote about Trump’s call to President Buhari who was then in London for medical attention. Some unprofessional journalists (if they are not so-called) went to work claiming the US president never spoke to the Nigerian leader.

Even after the White House spokesperson, Sean Spicer, confirmed his boss spoke to several world leaders, including the Nigerian president, these chronic doubting “Thomases” continued to pull their “Breaking News” through that the US president probably spoke to a dead man in his grave.

Never in my life have I seen the kind of hatred for an individual than I have witnessed on the past few weeks for Buhari on some sections of the social media. A simple content analysis on these matter reveals these elements wishing the president dead probably intended to inherit the man’s property of some sort. Aside from this, I do not know why anyone, for that matter will hate someone so much that they will wish such a person dead.

Even when lions fight, they don’t wish each other dead. In even that one dies in a fight, the other do not resort to celebration after his rival dies. If beasts understand life more than some of us do, I honestly do not understand why some people count themselves part of the human community!

Like most Nigerians, I received the news that President Buhari was to return to the country on Friday 10th March, 2017 in a State House Press Release signed by the President’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina on Thursday night. I was so happy, not because I support the president or that I have any tangible benefit I will derive from his arrival, but simply because I am human and part of the human community.

The question of “how” he will “arrive” was raised by those who had earlier reported him “dead”. Was he to arrive in an air ambulance that will land straight in the Presidential Villa without anyone seeing him or hearing from him? Will he arrive under the cover of darkness to cover his “lifeless” body? Were the airports closed just because the “cabals” are trying to hide the president from public view?

I couldn’t provide immediate answers to these questions when one of the chronic doubters sent me this message: “hw was ur day, hope all is well, Lekan? I just want to let u knw that there is something I want to ask u now which I’ve been hiding from u for a very long time, sometimes when I tell u I feel discouraged cos I don’t knw if u re gona respond negatively, I just want to let u knw dat what I’m about to tell has been a burden to me for a very long tym n I jst can’t keep it in my mind any longer, so pls don’t feel upset when I say dis to you, just knw dat it’s from my heart and it’s real, pls pls be sincere and tell me the truth, Is Buhari back?

I did not bother responding to him because this young man has made a nuisance of himself before me since our first contact when he read my article, Self-Determination: What if we all have it? I knew where he was coming from so responding to him is like flogging the dead horse.

Leaving frivolities aside, what are the implications of Buhari’s return considering his fragile health? My simple suggestion is that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) should be in the best position to assess the state of the president’s health to determine his fitness or otherwise to continue as President or not.

There are those suggesting the President should resign. While I have no problem against this position, we must realize it is Buhari’s sole responsibility to know whether he will resign or not since the Nigerian Constitution did not at any point state at what point or the number of days the President can absent himself from work on health grounds. The only thing the Constitution stated is for the President to “transmit’ a message communicating his decision to proceed on vacation to the National Assembly which he has always done.

I honestly do not see any problem or power struggle arising between the president and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. The Constitution states that the Vice President should act when for whatever reasons; the president cannot perform his constitutional responsibilities. Those creating “division” in the presidency are obviously ignorant of the constitution or simple administrative procedures.

So far, while I do not have issues with President Buhari’s extended leave, my position has always been the poor ways his communication team has been going about it. They should simply have come out clean ab initio saying “The president is proceeding on medical leave to return soon.” While it is true there are those who will make some noise, let us wait to hear from those gods who have never fallen ill all their lives to question why Buhari is proceeding on medical leave!

Aside this, there would have been no need of trying hard to explain a simple issue all the time.

OlalekanWaheed ADIGUN is a is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Email: olalekan@olalekanadigun.com, Follow me on Twitter @adgorwell

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