On May 7, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari again left Nigeria to London, United Kingdom, for a follow up treatment on his health.
Although the present trip seems indefinite, the president had also earlier spent about 50 days during his first medical vacation.
His media team had continued to lie, as it later turned out, that the president was hail and hearty, while he was seriously ill.
He told Nigerians that much on his return, and also revealed that he even had blood transfusion.
Even at that, the government has kept whatever ails the president a closely guarded secret. The reasons that have been adduced range from security concerns, to the fact that he has a right to some level of privacy.
But, as the leader of Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth, taking decisions that affects the lives of well over 170 million people, here are four reasons Nigerians need to be told what the health issues affecting their president are.
1) His judgment: Going by the fact that Nigeria is a very complex nation, and whatever decisions taken by its leaders, whether political, economic or otherwise have far reaching effects on the West African sub region, and the continent, there is the need to be sure that he is in the correct physical, emotional and psychological state of mind and body to take decisions on behalf of the nation and its citizens.
This is even more so, given that an official of government recently stated that Buhari is still working from his position in London, even though he handed over to his vice, Yemi Osinbajo before he left the shores of the country.
2) Accountability: The Buhari administration is in the forefront of fighting corruption, and has continued to stress the need for accountability in every sphere of governance.
It would not then be out of place for the government to lead by example, by being open, transparent, and making public funds that have been expended in relation to Buhari’s ailment.
How can Nigerians hold government accountable for the nation’s financial resources, when virtually every spending is done in secrecy?
3) Security concerns: Going by the security concerns raised by the president’s handlers, it is also right to assure Nigerians that the president is safe wherever he is, and cannot be unduly influenced by foreign bodies to the detriment of the Nigerian state and its citizens. After all, he is spending a good part of his tenure in a foreign land.
4) Health: The president’s health, and the number of days he has spent outside the country calls to question the state of Nigeria’s healthcare facilities, and the humongous sums that have been budgeted to the section over the years.
There is the need therefore to take a holistic look at the sector, with a view to ensuring that Nigerians, especially government officials, do not need to seek medical attention outside the country for the smallest of ailments.