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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Much ado about the President’s health

anonymous informant     9:31 PM    


The dark clouds have started circling again. The President was missing at Fridays Jumat Service, he has not attended the FEC's meeting and the rumors of his ill health or otherwise
have started making the rounds once again.
This would be the third time in our history where controversy over the President's health has led to tension within the polity. The first was with Musa Yar'adua which almost led to a constitutional crises, the second was last year when President Buhari went on an extended medical vacation and now this time with all its attendant speculations.
This is what happens when the institutional framework of a nation has been weakened by the personality cult, otherwise why would there be confusion or panic, or why would there in any manner of form be a 'cabal' as we are being told who are 'keeping the President in Nigeria, so that they can continue to wield power and influence'. The shallowness of all of this is debilitating as the constitution prescribes very clearly the steps to take under this kind of situation, if there is a situation in the first place.
Unlike in the recent past, the extended medical vacation has shown us the fact that we indeed have capable hands that would stand in and continue the seamless flow in governance and the President himself has more than shown great confidence in this person hence the myriad of responsibilities he has given him including the ultra sensitive $43m probe into the Ikoyi towers debacle. So all the intrigues, discussions and maneuvers are really not expected.
In all these, the President physically suffers. The stress of it all does not give him the strength to concentrate and fight for his health. The circle around him, the reports, the moves and counter moves of loyalists all will be keeping him in a position to continually fret over his position and legacy instead of relaxing and working with his doctors.
We make it look like it is a sin to be ill as a President. We forget that the man is just that, a man. Who is as infallible as they come. He can and will fall ill and he must be given the best care anywhere in the world that we can afford. He symbolizes our nationhood irrespective of the political divide we stand, he is our symbol of continuous unity, we voted for him and yes like every other mortal he will fall ill. That is not debatable.
Let the institutional framework, handle this situation. Let us stand back and allow the structures put in place as prescribed by the constitution do its work. It is in our attempt to dictate to it that we fall into malaise. All the talk of rotation, the North being short changed and all that just stop short of being labelled as gibberish and the handiwork of charlatans hovering within the fringes of power lacking in deep understanding of how democratic structures work.
This in my minds eye remains the least of our issues in nation building. The economy is looking like it is turning around, the weakened opposition party giving the ruling party an almost free reign over the polity, the seeming infighting among the intelligence community and the attendant lack of cohesion leading to embarrassing faux pas in government handling of some matters all remain very critical to this government and its people's.
A distraction as effective as this would lead us away from what is beginning to look like a small recovery in economic indices as forces will go back to the trenches, internal sabotage would now be strife and a stalemate at the worse could be achieved. And what you do not want to happen is to drag the National Assembly into all these.
As a small distraction, we would not be in this situation or should I say not be this deep in it if we had over the years built our medical infrastructure to a world class standard. If the President was being treated locally and perfectly, he would still be physically present and the void would not be as empty as it usually is when he is out of the country. The signal that would in itself send would be so powerful up to even curbing the continuous waste of funds in procuring medical delivery outside of the country by the well heeled. It is really sad, that each time our President falls ill, we begin to either fly in experts or fly him out, either way we are loosing not only raw cash but prestige as a people.
So the plea here is to for once that we allow the structures handle the matter, if there is any matter at all. Allow the rules govern our behaviors and how we react to the Presidents perceived ill health. For this would lead to the continuous strengthening of our democratic processes leading it away from the stranglehold of the politics of personalities ensuring fair play and justice as against the controls grain where we have politics of self immolation as a definite result of the deliberate avoidance of due process.


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