EDITORIAL: Buhari Is Back: What Next?
Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari flew back to Nigeria after spending the past seven weeks in the United Kingdom with an unidentified illness. The secrecy surrounding the president’s kind or type of illness created a lot of untoward speculations, mindless gossips, palpable fear, machinations and dirty politics – especially from the (in disarray) main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) . . .
As President Muhammad Buhari was away on medical vacation, all manners of innuendoes: allusive or oblique remarks or hints, typically suggestive or disparaging about the president’s long trip to the United Kingdom to get well was ripe and raging in Nigeria. Some Buhari critics (and they were many) went to town to insinuate all kinds of things regarding the president’s health situation. Many vituperations from some highly-placed Nigerian politicians, talking about Buhari’s illness, was most unfortunate! Some even wished he was dying or dead and never to return alive to Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the president followed all constitutional procedures regarding the handover of presidential power in such situations. This was in sharp contrast to the former administration of the late Nigeria’s President Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who did not handover presidential power to his Vice President Goodluck Jonathan – instead his wife and a ruthless cabal took over the reins of presidential power and governed Nigeria, much to the chagrin of all and sundry – except his party, the then ruling PDP.
Nigeria’s now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Buhari’s party, remained cohesive during Buhari’s absence and that cohesion stunned many Nigerian political watchers, especially the main opposition PDP and their supporters and cohorts. Many Buhari critics called for Buhari’s resignation – without any constitutional foundation – but with political expediency. This is obviously in line with Nigeria’s brand of politics which is dirty, unwholesome and characterized by the lack of moral decency – even up to the point of wishing a fellow human being dead – for political purposes.
Nigeria’s former military dictator-turned democratic politician, who prefers to be addressed as Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, appears not to have taken back his (in-limbo) power (for now) from a diminutive professor of law. Buhari is officially back to his country. Buhari, 74, gave a nine-minute speech upon his arrival to the presidential villa in Abuja – Nigeria’s seat of power – adding that he’d never been “so sick” as in recent months, but did not disclose his illness to Nigerians.
Buhari is expected to take back the reins of presidential power from Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, who’s been in control as Nigeria’s Acting President since on Monday Jan 19, 2017 when Buhari jetted to London on medical vacation. In the nine-minute speech the president said: “I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the vice president will continue and I will continue to rest. All I will need is to do further follow-ups within some weeks.”
From the foregoing, especially from his nine-minute speech in the First Lady’s yellow-colored chamber in the presidential villa (even for a man who doesn’t speak much) Buhari may be inclined to recuperate in Nigeria, instead of the United Kingdom, get better, and then resume fully as President of Nigeria – a position and office he was elected to administer by a majority of Nigerian voters in 2015.
The next presidential and general elections in Nigeria has ben set for February 2019 by Nigeria’s election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In the meantime, Buhari’s ‘disappearance’ on prolonged medical vacation for nearly seven weeks (as it were) could mean more speculations as to whether he will run again in 2019. The man, himself, hasn’t said anything about that direction. For now, the President prefers to get better before anything else. Nevertheless, there’re more questions than answers!
Niger Reporters hereby wish Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari quick recuperation – so that he can complete his campaign promises to millions of Nigerian voters – which he made to them during his campaign stops in 2015.
You’re welcome back home Mr. President.
EDITORIAL | Niger Reporters | www.nigerreporters.com
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