There are many examples of President Muhammadu Buhari saying one thing when he was running for office and doing the opposite once in power, but none sticks in the craw more than his endless foreign trips. He is currently on a 10-day “vacation” in the UK, where he is expected to have a medical checkup as well.
He said in February 21 2015: “Why do I need to go for foreign medical trip if we cannot make our hospital functional?” By June last year, after being in office since May 2015, Buhari was off to London for treatment for an ear infection. He said he has been treated in the UK since 1978.
Many Nigerians found it shocking that the president couldn’t be treated for an ear infection in Nigeria after budgeting over 3bn naira ($9.8m) on the presidential clinic. That amount was more than what was allocated to all the federal hospitals in the entire country.
Buhari said while running for president in 2003, in reference to then president Olusegun Obasanjo’s foreign junkets: “What we will not do! Spend 110 days in a year globetrotting”. In his first year in office, Buhari had made over 30 foreign trips. It is estimated that he is now the most-travelled Nigerian president on account of the amount of time spent abroad in a year.
The gap between Buhari’s words and his actions is as wide as the distance from Abuja to London.