Photo-ops and videos shouldn't detract from the underlying issue that President Buhari needs a Doctor, fast.
On the day, the President was on his haunches in a mosque alongside Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai and a few other Governors and aides.
We’ve just been shown footages and photos of the President again.
It’s another Friday. Dateline: May 5, 2017.
Apparently, we’ve been reduced to lining up outside the Aso Rock mosque, while clutching our smartphones and cameras.
We’ve been reduced to a people who take pictures of their ailing President, while broadcasting same with glee and triumphalism on social media.
But governance is serious business.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with Buhari showing up at a mosque when he’s battling an ailment. But when he misses consecutive Federal Executive Council (FEC)meetings and shows up at a mosque just hours after missing the last FEC meeting, the citizenry is allowed to speculate and pose all manner of questions.
Like they’ve been rightly doing.
The President’s handlers have just suffused the social media space with images and videos of a President hurtling through the doors of a mosque; alongside comments deriding citizens and the media who’ve been asking if Buhari is fit enough to cope with the rigours and demands of his office.
In their frenzy, they forget that even in these latest images and videos, Buhari doesn’t look any healthier. He’s visibly struggling so badly with an undisclosed ailment.
The President’s handlers also forget that citizens have a right to demand answers concerning the state of health of their President because the man is now public property and servant of the people.
In the last couple of days, we’ve been told that Buhari will work from home for a day, that he’s skipping federal executive council meetings because he needs all the rest he can get, his wife Aisha has said her husband is not as ill as people think and work meetings with top government officials have been arranged for the President.
All of that—including the Friday mosque photo-ops—are pointless in the larger scheme of things. There are needless distractions from the meat of the issue.
All of the drama on this issue could have been entirely avoided if lessons were learned from the Yar'adua debacle.
When the dust around today’s Friday appearance settles, questions will still arise around whether Buhari is fit enough to continue as President.
And he may well be.
We all wish him well and pray that he gets well soon. But to get to that point, he’s got to embark on that medical vacation and allow his Vice President run this country in the interim.
Because when a President ails, so does the nation.