Medical tourism is no more a new phenomenon in African political terrain. It is a common practice for African presidents, leaders or other Ogas in the corridor of power to rush to overseas for medical check-ups. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari is not new to this African practice.
In Nigeria, just like in many other African countries, the issue is not really that their President travelled abroad for medical treatments. Not really. Which Oga does not do that? After all, every human becomes sick at one time or another. Why then are Nigerians making a hell of a noise, simply because their president went to London ““ sorry, I forgot to mention, twice – for a medical treatment? Many Nigerians are asking themselves, why their president does not have enough trust in the Nigerian doctors and medical facilities in his country, to be treated in Nigeria instead of travelling to London for the treatment? Unfortunately, I am not the Nigerian president, so I might not give a satisfactory answer to the question. But that is not all the questions.
Oh! More wahala? Hell yes! Other Nigerians are angry that their president spent more than 100 days in London for medical checks, leaving the affairs of the state stagnant. Wait, to be fair to President Buhari, I am not a legal mahogany, but if I am not mistaken, there is nowhere in the constitution of Nigeria, which makes President Buhari’s trip illegal. It is not stated in the constitution how many days the president can stay abroad for medical treatments. Has President Buhari broken any law going to London for treatments? Legally not. So? Can we end the matter then? No. Not really? Wow! Why? President Buhari once insisted that the former Nigerian President Yar’Adua, who went abroad for medical treatment, must resign. Yet Buhari has up till today, refused to tell his fellow Nigerians, the nature of his ailment. No one knows exactly what the President`s sickness is; many Nigerians complained. But must President Buhari do so? Is he not entitled to some medical privacy?
Even though one may argue that President Buhari is not constitutionally bound to disclose the nature of his ailment to the public, the secrecy surrounding the president`s health is creating some degree of uncertainty around the president. The ability of the President to rule the country is in question. Worse still, his absence is breeding some bunch of political vultures, eying the office of the president. Some of these political scavengers might have hoped that the President would not come back home alive; while others might have expected Buhari to come home incapacitated. Man proposes God disposes!. But are fastidious politicians alone is gunning for the office of the Nigerian President? Don`t bet with your life.
On arrival home, after his 100-day medical tourism, hoping to start work and make up for the lost days, President Buhari was greeted by bossy rats, which have fearlessly taken over his office. The rat infestation of his office is so serious that President Buhari will allegedly work from home for three months before using his office again. Rat? Don`t even go there, if you believe only greedy politicians want President Buhari`s office.
Definitely, President Buhari will have more than sycophant politicians to worry about. Clearly, the Head of State needs to know that he is surrounded by many lickspittles, who desperately want his office. Unless President Muhammadu Buhari quickly gets the Nigerian medical facilities properly and quickly fixed to the international standard, he will always go abroad for medical tourism. His medical trip abroad will definitely generate many questions from angry Nigerians. Worse still, as long as President Muhammadu Buhari is abroad for undisclosed medical treatments, his office will be a subject of interest to other marauders ““ humans or animals – who want it badly.