By Josef Omorotionmwan
THAT President Muhammadu Buhari is back home after his medical vacation in Britain is no longer news. The best point at which to start today’s analysis is to join all people of goodwill in welcoming him back, lest we might be accused of belonging to the group that loves him so much and yet wish him evil.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria is a complex country. Its complexity showed up, in large measures, on Friday, August 25, 2017. Just about when the leadership of the two major political parties, the APC and PDP, was paying a joint solidarity and welcome visit on the President; with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, following, Femi Fani-Kayode was representing another group that was demanding the President’s resignation, ostensibly on health grounds. The Fani-Kayode group addressed a world press conference on its demand. At the press conference, Kayode maintained that those who love Buhari are the ones calling on him to quit. Fani-Kayode was not quite forthcoming with the reasons for the demand.
For all we know, people have come to love Buhari because of his stand on the war against corruption. Put differently, it is impossible to genuinely love Buhari without loving his courage and total dedication to the anti-graft war. That makes our search easy: the new love for Buhari is a love for his war against corruption.
But again, that creates a new, and perhaps more complex problem. It smacks of sadism or outright masochism for anyone who is at war with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for being thoroughly immersed in corruption to claim to be genuinely in love with Buhari – the protagonist of the war against corruption. Since when did oil and water start mixing freely?
The veil is apparently lighter on the other side. Kayode must have a lot of convincing to do that he does not represent the group that wanted Buhari and his anti-graft war dead! To their utter consternation, the man is back, not just alive, but healthier and more vivacious than ever; and with an iron determination to pursue the anti-graft war most vigorously.
Apparently, Fani-Kayode and his co-travellers are miffed by those Treaties with foreign countries and other stern measures aimed at pursuing the thieves even to the deepest holes.
Kayode’s speech is laced all over with the assertion that those who hate Buhari are the ones asking him to continue in office. It is not in our character to speak evil about the dead but let respect beget respect and let history remain on a steady course. We cannot continue to live with unnecessary equivocations. We should also not put politics into all we do, particularly when it concerns the health of our leaders. After all, public interest is thicker than partisan politics.
How deep is Femi-Kayode’s love? How many of his lovers has he ever commanded to throw away their job, even when it was absolutely necessary to do so? Or, when the Late President Musa Yar’Adua was vegetating in faraway Saudi Arabia, unknown to him, whether he was still alive, was this not the same Fani-Kayode that was in the vanguard, agitating relentlessly that Yar’Adua could rule Nigeria from any part of the world? Going by his new stance, our memory fails us to understand the exact point at which Fani-Kayode developed such intense hatred for Yar’Adua, a man he pretended to have deeply loved. What an open duplicity!
Wise people learn to change tactics, particularly those that do not work. These ones keep telling us that Buhari looks frail and fragile and we ask, even in the best of health, has Buhari ever looked like a weightlifter or a boxer? And more so, like all of us, is age not catching up on him and, of necessity, is he not loosing vitality? Incidentally, his athletic look is what endears him to some of us. Julius Caesar is relevant here, “Let me have about me, men that are fat; sleek-headed men; and such that sleep all night. Cachous is lean and hungry looking. Such men are dangerous”. Above all, we rely most on his Doctors’ Reports instead of dabbling into those areas of life where we have two left hands. So, let Buhari be!
He is human, after all. On assuming office, he assembled a crack team of Cabinet Ministers; and even when he was away on medical vacation, the machinery of government moved on smoothly. His war on corruption was on course, much to the chagrin of the offenders. Buhari’s strongest point remains that he delegates functions and that explains why God keeps giving him capable and trust-worthy lieutenants. Even in the best of health, we saw how he piloted the affairs of this nation with the Late General Tunde Idiagbon. And this time around, no one could have prayed for a better Vice President than Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Who wants to regulate Buhari’s life – tell him when to go to bed; when to observe his Salat and Jumat prayers; and when to attend what meeting? Ironically, some of these people know nothing more than the juju joints. And where they cannot decide for him, then, he is not well. Why then is he a leader if they must decide every thing for him? Buhari’s new lovers who are calling on him to quit are largely ignorant of the constitutional provisions for doing so. We insist that they visit Sections 144-146 of the 1999 Constitution to acquaint themselves with the constitutional procedure for presidential incapacitation, disability and subsequent vacancy.
To the glory of God, Buhari is back home, hail and hearty. There is no better demonstration that God answers prayers. Nigerians poured out their hearts and God heard them. Buhari’s healing shall be permanent. But let him remain focused; and if the need arises for him to return to Britain for follow-up on his Doctors’ appointments, he must do so religiously, the views of his critics and iconoclasts, notwithstanding. We wish him the very best.