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OPINION

Still On Unnecessary Hoopla Over President’s Health

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Leadership Nigeria News Today

By Rayyanu Bala

While nobody could deny anybody the right to hold an opinion and even air it, the call for the resignation of Buhari at this material time is to say the least, not only short in modesty, long in indecency but mischievous and diversionary.

The proponents of ‘Buhari must resign’ have even taken the campaign too far by describing Buhari’s health as our major problem in this country which solution to it must be found.
While the entire political and media space was dominated by “those for and against Buhari’s resignation” the man just suddenly appeared at Aso Rock Juma’at mosque for Friday prayers after trekking from his house to the mosque to demonstrate to the most gullible and  wailers in our midst that his sickness was not after all as bad as we think.
Even though, Buhari has since departed again for London in continuation of his quest to address his health challenges, after transmitting power to his vice,  those against his leadership still continue with their fruitless campaign trying to justify the need for him to resign.

Yes, the campaign for Buhari to resign will continue to be fruitless because in the first instance, the campaign is not in good faith. The way I see it, there are two groups at the forefront of the campaign for Buhari to resign and the first group consists of people who are in dire need of power to shift to their geopolitical zone while the other consist of those who are averse to the total war which Buhari has declared against corruption and corrupt people. But of these two groups, the later appear to be more pressed and desperate to see that Buhari quit the scene either by hook or crook.

Of-course, the war which Buhari has declared against corruption in Nigeria is enough to fetch him all the troubles he is facing today. Corruption in Nigeria is well entrenched, it has eaten deep into our fabric and those enmeshed in it, are so mighty and powerful. Buhari is well aware of the danger ahead of him as a result of his declaration of war on corruption. It was in appreciation of this danger that he declared “if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us”.

Now see what the crusade on corruption which he declared is doing to him. The health challenges Buhari is facing today must be seen and appreciated against this backdrop. There are indeed, many powerful forces across political parties, across religious divide and also across geopolitical zones of this country that do not want to see Buhari’s face on account of his stance on corruption and they can do anything to inflict maximum pain on him so as to either eliminate or incapacitate him.

Buhari is about 72 years now and I don’t think he has any more things to accomplish in life for the benefit of his personal gains. He sought for the leadership of this country not for his personal benefit but he sought for this presidency in the interest of this generation and the generation yet unborn. Nobody has any doubt about this; if it were for personal gains Buhari won’t have wasted his time seeking for the presidency of this country.
And his passion for war against corruption was bound only out of conviction that there is no any way one can move this country forward without first fighting corruption. Whether we accept it or not, our bane in this country is corruption. But ironically today some are now saying that our main problem in this country is Buhari’s health and some are even buying into this. For God sake how on earth, can Buhari’s health become our problem as a country?

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a terse statement he issued recently entitled: “Stop the hoopla over Buhari’s health, allow the President to do his job as he deems fit” (The Nation Newspaper, May 8, 2017) cautioned Nigerians against speculating on Buhari’s health when he said “Those speculating on Buhari’s health must pull a brake”adding “The speculators were out not only to derail the President but to decisively pit a section of the country against the other for selfish gains”.
Yes Asiwaju said nothing but the truth. Our attention as a people at this critical time ought to have focused on what Buhari has achieved and what he intends to achieve between now to the end of his tenure in 2019.
Indeed, much has been achieved positively since Buhari took over the reins of governance two years ago. The prevailing economic challenges we are experiencing today were not Buhari’s making, since the immediate past administration failed to save for the rainy day. However, we must say kudos to Buhari for his effort on diversifying the economy from oil.
We must also say kudos to him on his effort on Boko Haram and Niger Delta issue. The policy on diversification of the economy, we must also accept, has started yielding fruits as gradually we are moving out of recession.

As for Buhari’s health, we must admit here that his health is not the issue confronting Nigeria. He has a vice that is also capable of coordinating the affairs of the nation before he (Buhari) gets well and return to his office.

The history of American Presidential System of Government which we copied is replete with instances where ailing Presidents were allowed to continue in office while still attending to their health issues. A case of Andrew Jackson: 1829-1837, Grover Cleveland 1893-1897, William Taft 1909-1913 and Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921, and Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933-1945, as well as John F Kennedy 1961-1963 Ronald Reagan 1981-1989, George H.W. Bush 1989-1993, among others is still fresh in the memory of some.

Of these former American Presidents who faced health challenges in office, the case of Dwight D. Eisenhower was must striking. Eisenhower was the 34th president. According to “Healthline magazine” Eisenhower endured three major medical crises during his two terms in office: heart attack, stroke and crohn’s disease.
Against the background of America’s experience as narrated above, the call for Buhari to resign on account of his health is not only short in modesty, long in indecency but mischievous and diversionary.

– Bala wrote in from Lafia, can be reached at: rayanubala@gmail.com



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