Buhari’s Medical Tourism And Femi Adesina’s Fragile Defence


President Buhari

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina would often want to amuse Nigerians with his “Wonderboy” posturing in defence of his principal; President Muhammadu Buhari once his colleagues in the media or other concerned Nigerians have the effontry to raise some pertinent questions about the President’s actions or inaction. Adesina has often reacted in a manner that tends to suggest that he does not indulge in deep thinking before making certain statements that would go viral.

He once told Nigerians opposed to open grazing of cattles that it would be better for them to give up their ancestral lands to the Fulani herdsmen than to die in the hands of the marauding AK47 wielding herders. What a defeatist solution from a citizen who does not see the Fulanis as modern day Nigeria’s colonial masters?

Now, Adesina has come again to tell Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari has a choice to seek medical assistance outside the shores of Nigeria because his doctors in London have him as their patient for about 40 years now and supposedly know his medical history better.

In pushing his position forward at Channel Television “Politics Today” programme in response to a question on the President’s London trip on Monday, Adesina perhaps forgot history in a hurry. He was quick to assert that his boss has been receiving medical treatment in London since 40 years now and was audacious about it without reminding himself that this was the same Muhammadu Buhari who told Nigerians in his December 31, 1983 coup day speech that the politicians have reduced hospitals in Nigeria to “mere consulting clinics.”

If Adesina has relied on history as a better teacher, he would have reconciled himself to the fact that Buhari would be morally wrong as President of Nigeria to go elsewhere in search of medical assistance when he jailed politicians about 37 years ago among other things for “turning our hospitals into mere consulting clinics.”

Adesina would have recalled that the likes of Prof. Ambrose Alli, the former governor of the old Bendel State died as a result of the incarceration they were subjected to, by Buhari’s military regime – the same man whose government in present time has left the nation’s hospital in worst condition.

Six years and two months already gone out of President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years two-term tenure, he is still going to London for medical treatment. With all the big grammar during his Chatham House, London speech few days to the 2015 presidential election and his robust campaign promises of turning our hospitals to first class medical centres, Nigerians are still wondering what has gone wrong.

With the multi-billion naira annual budgets for the National Hospital in Abuja and the nation’s various university teaching hospitals and availability of well trained doctors of Nigerian extraction in the Diaspora and here at home, one continues to wonder the mystery behind the President’s preference for London doctors.

If the likes of Adesina do not know the implication of boldly telling Nigerians that President Buhari has the choice to seek help from London doctors, the same President should be bold enough to apologise to those he removed from power in 1983 and jailed among other things for making our hospitals mere consulting clinics. In fact, he should pay reparation to the families of those who died like Ambrose Alli.

AtlanticNewsonline does not align with the likes of Adesina who do not see anything wrong in a Nigerian President who will leave his country’s hospital to rot away while he seeks for better treatment in a foreign land. If the President is patriotic, let him adequately equip the National Hospital, Abuja, bring back Nigerian specialist doctors in America, Canada, Europe and elsewhere to work here on good salaries.

Alternatively, if the London doctors are so special, his government can do well to recruit them for the National Hospital and pay them salaries to treat him and other Nigerians who are also annual medical tourists to foreign lands.

It would continue to be a national embarrassment that President Muhammadu Buhari would spend more of his time in London hospital than his own country’s hospital. It is a mark of failure, hence the likes of Reno Omokri former aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and other concerned Nigerians in Diaspora would always want to stage protest anytime Buhari is in London for treatment.

Our colleague; Femi Adesina would have saved himself from infantile defense of Buhari’s London trip if he had just explained and stopped at the President’s participation at the Global Education Summit in Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021 –2025 in the United Kingdom. He should have found a better excuse in explaining why the President would remain in London for two weeks.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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