By Ayo Dada
It is no longer news that the ailing president of Nigeria, Buhari visited the ailing ‘wannabe’ president, of Nigeria, Tinubu at his home in London where both had escaped to for medical treatments while Nigerian doctors are on strike at home over unpaid salaries and poor benefits. This action, has disrupted the medical services, especially at a time when a new and deadlier covid19 variant is ravaging the country. The state of the Nigerian medical institutions are poor to none existent and millions of Nigerians cannot afford overseas trip for medical treatment that both ‘leaders’ are enjoying.
Many Nigerians have criticized this visit of Buhari to Tinubu, particularly at this difficult time in the nation’s history, and the state of our hospitals and health workers, and rightly so. To me though, it not only show the lack of thought, the lack of care for the feelings of the people they lead and want to lead, in the least, if one were to give both men the benefit of the doubt, their action was highly insensitive, and at worst, unpatriotic and careless.
Buhari’s motive, looking at it deeper, to me is more calculating, and a master political move;
- By the deceptive president, his visit is to say, you Nigerians who criticize me for coming to England for medical treatment, what about the Asiwaju Jagaban of Lagos, the defacto president of the southwest, the King maker of APC, here he is doing the same thing, couldn’t he have impressed it on the governor of Lagos state to build a state of the art world class hospital in Lagos? Is he not the owner of Lagos state politics?
- Nigerians say that I am too old, too sick/sickly to be president of Nigeria, look at who is vying to be the next president, he can barely stand on his own, and here I am with my hands behind my back, who looks healthier?
- Look at me, I am 79, look at Tinubu who claims to be 69, who looks older?
With his photoshoot, president Buhari has given his Fulani kinsmen and supporters the ammunitions to defend him on his medical visits overseas whenever Nigerians cry foul over such visits, which are bound to continue. This visit to Governor Tinubu is a master stroke and a win win for the president.
However, this visit is a blessing in disguise to Nigerians, because, if anyone is in doubt before, whether Asiwaju Tinubu is fit enough be president of a country that is on life support in all facets of the country’s life, which has been made worse by Buhari’s ineptitude, nepotism, incompetence and sheer lack of care for other ethnic group that is not Fulani, Asiwaju should remove himself from the presidency, he is not healthy enough to be Nigeria’s president.
My advice to Tinubu then is, to remain as the king maker that he is in southern, nominate and support Osibanjo as the presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress for the 2023 presidential elections. Nigeria does not need another sick president as the country is on life support. It will take a technocrat and a great administrator to revive and restructure Nigeria to where every ethnic group no matter how small will be equal in all and every area of the country.
Nigerians got a taste of, and must remember how a lot better it was when VP Osibanjo acted as the president, in case we have forgotten, here are some of his achievement in 38 days in power as the acting president;
1. Food Programme: On January 27, 2017 the acting president held a meeting with the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ms Ertharin Cousin.
And on Friday, January 24, he promised that the Federal Government was planning urgent relief to poultry farmers in the country to save the industry from collapse.
He also presided over the FEC meeting on February 1, during which the Presidential Task Force on Food Security was mandated to reduce prices of food items in the country.
2. Chief Justice Onnoghen: The acting president, on February 7, sent the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the Senate for confirmation.
Onnoghen was however yet to be confirmed or screened by the Senate before oga (the president) came back.
3. Road contracts: On February 8, he chaired the FEC and gave approval of N21 billion for the construction of the Ilorin-Omu Aran-Kabba Road, Section I.
Also on February 15, he approved the award of N126 billion road projects spread across Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu an Kaduna states.
4. Visiting the Niger Delta: Between February 10 and 13, Osinbajo visited Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital in continuation of his interactive engagements with oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
He then went to Port Harcourt, Rivers state, to meet stakeholders of the oil producing communities. During the meeting, he rolled out the framework for the clean-up exercise of Ogoni land.
5. CBN and Forex: On February 16, he presided over the first National Economic Council meeting of the year and directed the CBN to review the foreign exchange policy.
The meeting also resolved that fresh $250 million be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). The CBN subsequently released about $500 million through the interbank market, where the 23 banks bought $371m.
6. Signed 7 bills into law: On February 17, Professor Osinbajo signed seven bills into law. The bills were: Oaths (Amendment) Act 2017; Defence Space Administration Act 2017; Veterinary Surgeons (Amendment) Act 2017; and others.
7. Lagos airport visit: He then paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, as part of the 60-day action plan for business reforms in the country.
The visit took many airport workers by surprise. Osinbajo inspected facilities and interacted with airport officials.
Less than 24 hours after his unscheduled visit to Lagos airport, the federal government announced the sack of 10 directors of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Three new directors and a general manager were also appointed for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
8. Infrastructure: The FEC meeting, Osinbajo chaired on February 22 approved N32 billion for the resuscitation and completion of the 50km dual carriage Kaduna eastern bypass highway
The Council also approved $39.9 for the construction of the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at Ikot Efiem. The council also approved the Revised National Policy on Environment.
Putting everything in perspective, that both PDP and APC and six a dozen and half of the other, with no party strong or big enough to wrest power away from the these two monstrous parties, the best hope for Nigeria is to have Osibanjo as the next president of the country, by nominating him as APC’s candidate, he stands a great chance of achieving it. No one in my book stands close to him in this regard.
Can the Yorubas imagine an Osibanjo or better were to be the president of Yoruba Nation, what the prospects for astronomical development the region will enjoy?
Even if this happens, Nigeria must in the minimum restructure the country, anything short of this, every region should go their separate ways.
Nigeria cannot have a sick man as president and a sick ‘wannabe’ president, what we will have is a Nigeria on comatose, or a dead one.
I wish President Buhari and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu quick recoveries and the best of health.
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