It is most offensive for the elected president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to be virtually based in an intensive care unit of a foreign health facility, incommunicado and unable to perform his rightful duties as the president, while some ethnic and religious bigots from the north and west this warped country to be defending such a grievous breach of the constitution at section 144. The recent national address that he was purported to have made in Hausa language is a pointer to the fact that the man is suffering from either dementia or derangement. It also signals that he may not actually be in a condition to recognize what he says or does any longer. And the aforesaid section 144 of the country’s constitution stipulates that under such condition of incapacitation Buhari should humbly resign or be forced to do so.
This is not a matter for the largely expressed sentiment of mocking the unfavourable health condition of the ailing president. Far from that! Everybody falls ill from time to time. But there is no constitutional stipulation about uninvolved people’s health condition as it is with the health condition of the president. There would not have been any concern about how many years Buhari remains in his intensive care unit had the constitution not stated that after it is established that a president is very ill and cannot conveniently in person perform his duties for which he was elected, he should be relieved of his charge as president. But the constitution has so dictated and Buhari has so contravened that section of the constitution. The right thing for him to do is to leave instead of embarrassing himself and the country by clinging on to power and office while begging that the entire 170 million Nigerians turn emergency prayer warriors to ask God to resuscitate him from the intensive care unit.
Like normal human beings with pure milk of human kindness flowing their body, soul and spirit, I empathise with Buhari but I sympathize more with the Nigerian constitution which by all measures should be more sacrosanct than anything else in Nigeria including the failed ambition of Buhari to be Nigeria’s democratically elected president. Yes, I said failed because for all I care the man has not functioned as president in the real sense of that word since May 29, 2015. This is because ever before he was elected president he had been an inpatient of healthcare facilities locally and internationally. Instructively, some people who knew him better than the rest of us warned us about Buhari’s highly fragmented health but some political vampires insisted that it must be Buhari or Nigeria will burst to pieces like a balloon. Today, rather than give us the change he proudly and boastfully promised as the new sheriff in town, Buhari is begging us to remain on our knees to ensure God makes a change in his age-long failed health condition.
Of course, there is the provision for deputizing by the vice president for the president. But that is under normal circumstances where the president in fit as fiddle but would be unavoidably absent in office for a very short duration, running into only days. Hence, the concept of an Acting President for a dying president does conform with the theme of the concept deputizing for the substantive president. President (if we still choose to call him that) Muhammadu Buhari on a number occasions has disappeared from office for months with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo prancing all over pretending to be Acting President, even though he is only a pawn on the chess board of the hegemonic northern leadership bracket. Who is fooling who with Bhari’s ill-fated presidency? For how long would the north hoodwink the rest of the country and have things swing whichever way they wish? Must Buhari kick the bucket before the truth is accepted that he is incapable of functioning as president? It took so much stress upon the sensibilities of Nigerians before the north agreed that former president Musa Yar”Adua was no more. Some of them even suggested that he could complete his tenure from an undisclosed sickbed. This has led those who feel it is of their fancy to aver that it was obvious that the Nigerian president had transited to the great beyond. I don’t know about that. All I align with is for the needful to be done so that Buhari resigns to enjoy fuller rest in retirement or he be compelled to go. And where it is true that he had died, then there is nothing wrong in informing the country so that he be given a deserved state funeral.
For all those praying for Buhari’s recovery and return to office, I am with you in spirit. But in all sincerity I am not praying for Buhari as I am praying for the office he is supposed to occupy and function in. This is because the office is like barracks while everybody that comes to occupy it is like a bloody soldier who would one day leave as he came, dead or alive. So many Nigerians are carried away about this. Hence, they pretend to be praying for Buhari as if it is more about him than about the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (whatever that means!) The few elected and appointed Nigerians always take the many millions of Nigerians for granted, toying with issues that rightly belong to the public domain. Should the nearly 20 million Nigerians that voted Buhari into office not know what the health status of their president is, when less than 100 blood-sucking politicians know but are keeping it very secret and confidential? It is very fraudulent to deceive the people with presence during electioneering campaigns only to exclude and alienate them thereafter when you are sworn into office.
That is what Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) have done to Nigerians with regards to most things especially the health condition of the president.
Let me conclude that to do this decayed country any good, the leaders must give to respect for rule of law, while eschewing lawlessness and impunity. That implies a serious visit to the section 144 of the constitution by the principal officers of the National Assembly, viz the senate president and the Speaker, House of Representatives, and the recommending of the determination of the health status of the president. This should lead to Buhari humbly resigning or getting impeached where the cabal around him proves too militant about their defence of the undefenceable. Until that is done all the rambling about unity, peace and progress of Nigeria will remain mere political rhetoric. The agitations for Biafra, Oduduwa and Arewa republics respectively will only get fiercer and imminently lead this country to the field where only truth prevails; albeit with some avoidable pains. Let Buhari resign humbly or be forced to resign in line with the stipulations of the country at section 144.