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Buhari Who is rushing our President back to work?

After a prolonged medical vacation, President Buhari returned to work today. Superior logic says he should rest some more.

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President Buhari returns to his work desk play

President Buhari returns to his work desk

(Presidency (Twitter))

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President Muhammadu Buhari who arrived Nigeria last Friday March 10, 2017 after 49 days in the UK, is back on his work desk today, March 13, 2017.

If that just read like a bad joke, that's because it's a bad joke that turns out to be true.

In his first remarks upon after his arrival, Buhari admitted he's never been so ill in his life.

“I couldn’t recall ever being so sick since I was a real young man; including the military goings ups and downs,” Buhari said, immediately putting a lie to official lines while he was away that he's been "hale and hearty".

Buhari also said he may soon return to where he was coming from, for more medical care.

“I am feeling much better now. There may however be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks. I have received the best of treatment I can receive,” the President said.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo after the president's arrival from London on March 10, 2017. play Buhari and Osinbajo when the former returned from his medical vacation (The Nation)

 

His voice was barely above a whisper as he addressed cabinet members and media personnel in his first public appearance since January 19.

ALSO READ: Now that President is back

He looked frail all through. Gone was the glow of his light complexioned skin. His hair at once looked like the colour of snow.

His hands and footsteps were unsteady and he quivered momentarily.

His characteristic wit and sense of humour came across as forced; stage-managed.

The man who touched down at the Air-force base in Kaduna before being airlifted to Abuja in a helicopter, looked in agony. No medical experts were needed to confirm this. The President said so himself.

“I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the Vice-President will continue and I will continue to rest,” Buhari said through pained laughter.

He needed a rest.

His body and soul yearns for a rest.

Like all mortals, the course of treatment he's undergone in the last couple of weeks would take a toll.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari said he couldn't remember being so sick since he was a young man play Buhari jokes after his return (AFP)

 

He would need to put up his feet some more, have a massage or two, have his grand-kids play with his toes after lunch and watch from a silent apartment in Daura, Katsina State as farmers and herdsmen go about their routine activities.

But here he is, in an office stack full with files, documents and so much paper work in the nation's capital of Abuja.

“Let me first of all caution that he (Buhari) is not going to start in a dramatic way. He has been away from the country for nearly two months, so he needs to get into the temperature of the place,” the President's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said.

“For instance, yesterday (Saturday), he went through the newspapers page by page, and he read everything that interested him.

“So he needs to get back to that place. The thing is that he’s basically human like all of us. He is coming out of an ailment and like he himself had said, he needs to start gradually.

“Don’t expect the president to be given neck-breaking schedules or punishing schedules like from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., or sometimes to 1a.m. to 2 a.m.,” he added.

If the President can't stand a full schedule of work, why is he being rushed back to the office?

President Muhammadu Buhari play Buhari during the press briefing upon his return (Facebook/Femi Adesina)

 

Aso Rock says the President is only doing what the constitution requires.

"In compliance with section 145 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the President has formally transmitted letters to the Senate and the House of Representatives intimating the national assembly that "I have resumed my functions as the President of the federal republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, March 13, 2017 after my vacation", Femi Adesina who is the President's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said in a statement.

The President transferred a letter to the national assembly intimating them of his vacation before leaving the country. The law says he must also write the national assembly to say he's back.

But nothing says he can't write the national assembly again to say he wants some more rest while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo continues to function in an acting capacity.

Osinbajo had proven himself a safe and stellar pair of hands in the President's absence.

ALSO READ: President praises Osinbajo, says he did a terrific job

There are insinuations that Buhari is being rushed back to work by persons with sinister political motives.

By persons whose end game always revolves around power.

They call them the cabal--a power hungry group of persons who don't want the President to portray the impression that he's too weak to govern.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari met military leaders upon his return from London play Buhari arrives Nigeria from medical vacation (AFP)

 

They want him to look tough and resilient even in the face of pangs and bouts of ill health because they stand to benefit from him looking that way.

They stand to benefit from him putting up appearances.

Renown economist Prof Pat Utomi told Pulse recently that this all has to do with politics and power play.

Prof. Pat Utomi play Prof Pat Utomi (Pulse)

 

"Politics is still everything. Our institutions are still so fragile, so weak that everything is reduced to politics. It is a subject I actually don’t like to discuss or don’t care for at all because in many ways it’s inconsequential", Utomi said of the drama behind the President's ill health.

He added that: "This country was drained massively and brought to the brink by the Yar’adua ailing. Now, we get to a situation where we are repeating the same thing under another presidency. It should be a simple constitutional provision. We are all humans, we should be ill. If by virtue of being ill we can’t continue our duties, the nobility of spirit is to step aside let others continue, and the country goes on.

"We are individuals, we play our role, the country goes on. But because power tends to triumph over purpose in Nigeria, the whole thing is more like ‘who are those who have power, who will lose it, who will benefit from it....?’

President Muhammadu Buhari resumes work on March 13, 2017 play Buhari resumes work (Twitter)

 

It is instructive that spokesperson Shehu who was part of the "President is hale and hearty" choristers, has just told a TV network that Buhari "is coming out of an ailment".

Hopefully, after today's half-hearted work day, the President's Doctors sternly impress it on the man to rest and rest, while entrusting Osinbajo with a chunk of the responsibilities of state.

Buhari himself has said his age means he shouldn't be counted on to offer the nation his best.

“Youth and intelligence is clearly behind Osinbajo, age and purely military experience is purely behind me,” Buhari said.

There's nothing unconstitutional about resting if your body says you should. We've all been there.

At this moment, the President looks like he needs all the rest he can manage.

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