By George Onmonya Daniel
The way and manner the issue of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health is being handled is not good at all for posterity and democracy. In fact it is becoming an embarrassment to the nation. President Buhari’s health has been shrouded in secrecy by the coterie of people around him, but it leaves no one in doubt that the man is very sick, whatever it is that is wrong with him. If it is not a life and death matter, President Buhari wouldn’t have gone to London. In fact he was adamant to leave the country but had no choice and I believe he would have rushed back but has no choice.
After handing over to Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, in a sort of controversial manner, at least some Nigerians suspected the words, “Coordinating the affairs of the nation,” in the letter of handover instead of ‘Acting President’ in the previous handover letters, President Buhari has not been seen since he left the nation over 50 days ago.
Few people who have called for the resignation of President Buhari over his health have been shut up by fanatical and blackmailing supporters who accuse anyone of doing so of wishing the president death. Politicians and civil right groups have been muscled into silence by the same tactics. Yet it is obvious that the man has not been in charge for a long time and some of the decisions taken by this government have been by powerful friends and family who surrounded the president, the people that are today refer to as ‘cabal.’
The wise thing for this president to do would have been to resign because of the obvious seriousness of his sickness, but the people around him have hijacked the man the way they did to President Umar Musa Yar’adua until the man died. In fact, the people managing President Umar musa Yar’adua made it look like President Goodluck Jonathan stole power from, poisoning President Umar Musa Yar’adua supporters hearts and the entire North against Goodluck Jonathan who took over after the demise of Yar’adua. That type of drama is beginning to play out with Acting President Osinbajo.
I thought someone like President Muhammadu Buhari would do the right thing by quietly stepping down to take care of his health as a precedent for future leaders in a Nigeria so divisive that what matters to many is what tribe, region or religion is president rather than a good leader. President Buhari has refused to show such an example and looks incapable of showing such example, in fact he looks so ordinary now, no different from the leaders who have ruled this country, and his decision in the future would be key in how his history would be written.
President supporters like to blame the people around him for everything that is wrong even the man’s decision making and exonerate Mr. Buhari of everything, but that’s not the case. President Buhari would be held responsible for this administration good and bad by history. As his supporters like to attach anything that looks like achievement to his name, they must also blame him for the failures of his government.
The desperation in which President Buhari is clinging up to power, even to the detriment of this nation does not speak well of his image at all. Some of his supporters are already whispering here and there that he should simply resign, and that’s the one thing that would salvage his already tarnished image.