President Buhari’s undisclosed health situation may result in another Mutharika’s scenario
In the case of the recent ailment of President Muhammad Buhari, the Presidency insists it is a private affair and that he was fit to continue in his role as President.
It is no secret that the former military strongman is ill but how severe the situation is what is unknown to the people and has become the source of major political infighting at the seat of power, Aso Rock.
The 74-year old president came to power in 2015 on the back of promises to fight against corruption and terror group Boko Haram but has spent more time in treatment than addressing the needs of his people. Nigerians have no problem with the ailment, it is the secrecy and the attendant problems that they cannot stand.
In some quarters, the transfer of power to his Vice, Professor Osinbajo is deemed as sufficient to carry out the mandate of the APC but there are those as well who believe in full disclosure considering what the stakes are .The entire episode has created a chasm of distrust between government and state with citizens not ready to revisit a situation that is quickly becoming a trend in African politics.
At present, there are four African leaders whose ailment and frequent trips to foreign countries have been a major source of concern. President Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, Patrice Talon of Benin, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari.
Concerns are that the current situation may be a repeat of the Yar Adua’s episode which led to Goodwill Ebele Jonathan taking over after the death of then elected president Yar Adua. Who can forget the iconic case of late Malawian President, Bingu Wa Mutharika whose aide swore on national television few minutes before his death that he was healthy or the tragedy that befell Ghana’s John Atta Mills of Ghana who was made to jog in full view of the country on television after his arrival from a medical trip to prove his health? His death a few months later remains one of the low points of one of the sub-region’s model democracies.
Executive and Legislative political struggle for Supremacy
There is trouble brewing with the Legislature at the forefront of the battle for full disclosure.
The Upper House of the country’s Legislative arm during Plenary on July 4, 2017, attempted to have their President – Sen. Bukola Saraki sworn in as Acting President in the absence of acting president Osinbajo who was then on an official trip to the African Union Summit in Ethiopia.
The move was described as a coup attempt. A claim that the Legislature denies.
Nigerians can only hope for clarity or even a better, a return to health of its elected leader.
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