“The Executive Council of the Federation owes the nation a sacred duty by ensuring the ongoing confusion is resolved by declaring Yar’adua incapacitated to pave the way for his removal from office through impeachment”, t
These were the words of then General Muhammadu Buhari concerning ailing President Musa Yar’Adua in March 10, 2010. President Yar’Adua had been in and out of specialist hospital in Saudi Arabia- a situation now very familiar with President Muhammadu Buhari, who since ascension to office has been in and out of a London hospital.
President Buhari frequented London for medical treatment, staying for 103 days on one of such prolonged visits.
In 2016, barely a year in office, President Buhari took a six day vacation to the United Kingdom. This was followed by another 10 days, on June 6, 2016, to treat an ear infection.
As 2017 ushered in, the president once again took a 49 day leave away in London. On March 10, 2017 when the president arrived Nigeria, he acknowledged that he had never been so sick but that was as far as the country got on his condition.
Then on May 7, 2017, two months after his 49-day London medical trip, he went back to London- this time the president spent 103 days.
Again, many Nigerians demanded to know Mr. Buhari’s health condition but his spokespersons never gave any response neither did the president himself give a clear statement.
In fact, Lai Mohammed, the Minister for Information and Culture, had argued that president Buhari was not duty bound to reveal his conditions.
He said; “I think we would rather respect his privacy. If Mr President feels like telling the world his ailment, so be it. I don’t think he’s under an obligation to tell anyone”.
But, since the president arrived from his last major medical leave on August 19, 2017, the issue of his health has gradually become less prominent until the recent “technical stopover” and the eventual four days necessary visit to his doctor in the UK.
“In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week” Garba Shehu, Special Adviser to the president on Media and publicity explained, “the President had a meeting with his doctor. The doctor requested the President to return for a meeting which he agreed to do. President Buhari will return on Saturday, May 12”.
President Buhari, who was sold to Nigerians on the strength of his integrity, has failed to live by the same advice he gave the late former president Yar’Adua. Particularly now that the president has said he will be seeking re-election come 2019, he has the “sacred duty”- just as he advised the leadership of Nigeria in 2010- of ensuring that his health condition does not cause further “confusion” in the country.