President Muhammadu Buhari flew out to London today for a “meeting” with his doctor. A statement from his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said: “In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, the president had a meeting with his doctor.”
Shehu added that the doctor asked “the president to return for a meeting which he agreed to do.” Incidentally, many Nigerians didn’t believe the “technical stopover” story when it was first aired and speculated that the president was in London for health reasons.
Pres @MBuhari will tomorrow, Tuesday undertake a four-day trip to the United Kingdom, to see how doctor. He will return Sat, May 12th. On his return, the President’s 2-day State Visit to Jigawa, postponed because of the APC Ward Congresses, will now take place 14th & 15th May. pic.twitter.com/UDwZvadQRW
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 7, 2018
But there is an awful lot wrong here and it is not just Buhari’s health. It is practically unheard of to describe going to see a doctor as a “meeting”. If it were just a “meeting”, surely, the doctor could have been flown to Nigeria. The president’s handlers have form in using strange words and phrases to hide their boss’s medical tourism in the UK. When he was absent in the UK last year for over 100 days being treated for an undisclosed illness, they said it was a “medical vacation”. When the president returned he claimed that he had never been this ill in his entire life.
Now it is a case of doctor’s “meetings” leading to requests for further “meetings”. The same man having “meetings” with his UK doctor vowed to end medical tourism in a speech delivered on his behalf in April last year. While running for president in 2015 his campaign claimed on healthcare: “I will ban medical tourism by our politicians from May 29, 2015”. But Buhari has always had a history of saying one thing and doing the opposite. Today, he is the country’s Number One Health Tourist.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/05/what-buhari-promised-nigerians/
While he flew out to London for his doctor’s “meeting”, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) started a nationwide strike over a week ago with no resolution in sight. The strike, which is threatening to cripple healthcare delivery across the country, is over an alleged failure by the federal government to honour agreements reached with the unions in September. There is no urgency with the Buhari administration for a resolution since the top man and his underlings have access to foreign treatment. The rest of Nigerians are free to go and die.
Buhari and his handlers also don’t seem bothered in the slightest about the national security risks of a president of a sovereign country entrusting his life to doctors in a foreign country. As if that were not enough, there is scant regard for the Nigerian public from whose purse the bills for Buhari’s medical tourism are being paid. He has continued to fail to disclose what is wrong with him and the costs of the treatment to the bill payers.
This lack of transparency and cavalier attitude towards the national security implications of foreign treatment demonstrate that Buhari is unfit for office in more ways than one. These are solid grounds for impeachment if Nigeria had a National Assembly fit for purpose. Nigerian voters must bear all this in mind as they go to the polls next year.