Vice President Yemi Osinbajo returned from London today after visiting absentee president Muhammadu Buhari in a London hospital last night. Osinbajo declared to the media that Buhari is “recuperating fast” and he will return home “very, very soon”.
The VP said nothing about what Buhari was allegedly recuperating from and gave no indication when the president will return. Buhari hasn’t been seen in public since he left Nigeria over 60 days ago.
However, Osinbajo lacks credibility on matters related to the president’s mystery illness. Earlier this year during another Buhari disappearance to London in mid-January for what his camp called a “medical vacation”, Osinbajo declared his boss was “hale and hearty” and “in good shape”.
Buhari returned after 49 days away to contradict those lies, stating he had never been this sick all his life. He still didn’t inform Nigerians what was wrong.
A few things differentiate the first trip to London from this current one. Osinbajo didn’t visit him in London then, but several prominent Nigerians did and pictures were published of them with the frail president. This time there have been no publicised visits and certainly no pictures, and the VP has felt the need to visit the sick president.
It just doesn’t add up. This visit may have something to do with rumours of power struggles, that may involve the Senate President Bukola Saraki, in anticipation of Buhari’s demise or his resignation. Earlier this week, the president’s wife, Aisha, launched an attack on Facebook warning that “hyenas and jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom”. Her comments were in response to Senator Shehu Sani who wrote that people were “scheming… so that they can be kings”.
Nobody is quite sure how the drama will play out. But all the talk about “hyenas and jackals” must remind Nigerians of how Fela Kuti described Buhari in his days as head of a military junta – “Beast of no nation, animal in human skin”. And like a Nollywood movie, it is looking like there will be several sequels, from “Hale and hearty” to “Recuperating fast”. What they are going to call Part 3 is anyone’s guess.