60 Days+ and Counting: The Case of the missing Nigerian President
In May 2017, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sent a letter to the Nigerian Senate (Equivalent to the House of Lords) to announce to them that he would be travelling to England for a follow up check-up with his Doctors.
There has been a trend in Africa for most of the government officials to travel to more developed nations for their Medical Check-ups and not seek to improve medical centres or hospitals in the countries where they serve.
Following His medical trip, nothing had been heard of the Nigerian President both by local media and media in England. Then at the tail end of May, a Former MP in the Scottish Parliament, Eric Joyce, began by asking:
This was before he dropped another bombshell which rocked Nigerian twitter and still has its ripple effect even till date. He stated:
At first, I was taken aback by this post and became increasingly worried. I was worried because Nigeria has a history of violence which often rages in the Northern part of the country particularly when rumours fill the air about people of the Southern Part of the country, being responsible for the death of a renowned leader who hails from the Northern part of the country."
While this all sounds crazy, I will encourage readers to google up on the July 1966 Counter Coup in Nigeria. Nigeria is heavily polarised between North and South, Christian and Muslim and with over 500 different tribes and ethnic groups.
The bomb shell by Eric Joyce was, in my opinion, wrongly timed and capable of causing serious unrest in Nigeria. This is because, prior to the release of his statement, there were rumours going around that Christians and people of Southern Origin had “bewitched” President Muhammadu Buhari and that there was a conspiracy to kill him. This was circulated via WhatsApp and was even on sale as a typed up and well-articulated manuscript.
Fast-forward to June/July 2017 and reports by the BBC stated that the Presidents Aircraft which had been kept at Heathrow, had gulped a lot of money. The President by then, had spent 50 days away from his home country.
This, not to talk of the cost of his medical bills, the cost of the 89 aides who are currently with the President and are rumoured to have been lodged at Hilton Paddington Hotel, paying an average of 400 Pounds per night, is a nightmare for the Nigerian Populace.
Despite all these heart-breaking issues the President of Nigeria has a capable vice. The only problem is that his capable Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is currently battling a ‘Cabal’ who have refused to obey the constitution and let the Vice President take up the mantle of leadership, since the President is not healthy enough to rule the nation.
But only time will tell, if Nigeria will ever see their President again or if the Vice President will be allowed to assume office full time as the President of the country as stipulated by the constitution.