By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN-A senior lecturer at the department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Dr. Lukman Saka has criticised the recent trip of president Muhammadu Buhari to United Kingdom for medical treatment on one of his ear problems.
He said that, such money that would be used for that foreign medical trip could have been used to developed the nation’s health infrastructures.
Checks at the presidency claimed that, the cost of the trip which includes aviation fuel, accommodation, allowances for aides and medical treatment amounts to about £6milion.
The special adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina had on Sunday announced that, Buhari would be travelling to United Kingdom for medical attention due his ear problem.
Adesina said that, the trip would take 10 days and that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo would be acting as President.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday on the state of the nation, Dr. Saka said that,”this is the government that had been canvassing for the blockage of wastage in the art of governance, now using public fund to fund foreign medical trip”.
He said that, such development has exposed the ineptitude of the nation’s leadership towards the growth of health facilities in the country.
Saka added that,”if the nation’s health facilities have been developed, I don’t think there is need for President Buhari to abandoned all health institutions in the country and therefore traveled to UK to seek medical attention”.
Saka further pointed out that, ” I want to say that, there are many federal medical centers here in Nigeria and even the one built by former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, it is a specialist hospital, President Buhari should have used this local hospital instead of travelling abroad for medical attention.
“This shows that, our leaders are not ready to patronise our own hospitals. This is uncalled for, this is a serious problem and this will not improve health care delivery in Nigeria.”
“It is high time to learn to encourage ourselves to use our own health facilities instead of traveling overseas because the money that would be used for foreign medical trip could have been used here to move our health institutions forward”.
On the proposed dialogue with the militants that had been bombing oil installations in the Niger Delta region of the country, the political scientists said that, the development was a good one on the part of the federal government.
According to him,”it is disheartening that, some militants in the Niger Delta region have regrouped to be attacking oil installations in the region and be it as it may be I think the plan by the government to dialogue with them would reduce the economic burden being experienced due to the attacking of the oil installations”.
He said, “at least, the dialogue would involve the militants and the leaders from the region and this would assist in resolving their agitation and this would improve the revenue that would be generated from the oil installations in the country”.
Saka therefore advised president Buhari to shun all acts capable of affecting the health development in the country in the habit of seeking foreign medical trip, moreso that, Nigeria is blessed with well experienced medical personnel that could attend to his ear problem.