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Buhari is playing a sick joke on Nigerians and it’s not funny

Absentee President Muhammadu Buhari has been away from Nigeria since 19 January allegedly on a “medical vacation” in London.  He was due to return on 6 February, but cancelled his return claiming he needed to undergo further tests.  He neither revealed what the tests were for nor how long he needed to be away.

This morning, the Presidency released a statement that Buhari is staying longer to “rest”, with no indication of a return date.  “During his normal annual checkup, tests showed he needed a longer period of rest, necessitating the President staying longer than originally planned.”   The statement added: “President Buhari wishes to reassure Nigerians that there is no cause for worry.”

For all Nigerians know, the president may as well have applied at the UK’s Home Office for indefinite leave to remain in the country.  Despite the denials, there is a “cause for worry”.  The worry is not about the great likelihood that a 74 year old man is sick.  The major concern is the ham-fisted cover up.  The president and his handlers are taking Nigerians for fools.

You don’t need medical training to see from the pictures of him in London that he is suffering from some ailment.  You don’t need a medical degree to know that if it were just “rest” required, there are many places to rest in Nigeria, including his country home in Daura.

Peddling lies about the president’s health, in arrogant defiance to the facts, is insulting the intelligence of Nigerians and shows how little regard these people have for the Nigerian public.  In the same vein, a president who has been absent from the country he is supposed to be governing for over a month, has refused to speak to Nigerians to dispel the rumours about the gravity of his illness, while he has been able to receive visitors such as the Senate President Bukola Saraki (twice), House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu, the power behind the throne Mamman Daura, and take a phone call from Donald Trump.

These are the people that matter to Buhari and they probably know his true condition, and the president couldn’t care less what the rest of Nigerians think.  It is shocking behaviour and conduct unbecoming of anyone in a leadership position, but hardly surprising.

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