"It is something that our presidents take us for granted. Why are they afraid to get treated in their very own countries? Fix your countries, dear African presidents. They get treated abroad because the situations in their countries are beyond embarrassing, really."
- Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza (TAE, Sep 29, 2018)
Again, the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has left his country for the United Kingdom on a 10-day private visit and the president’s increased visits abroad has become a thing of worry for the citizens.
The only explanation and reason the presidency gave for the trip abroad was through the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who said in a statement yesterday that the president “will return to Nigeria on May 5, 2019”.
Another source close to the president said the president will use the private vacation to compile his cabinet list for his second term in office.
"Apart from appointing one minister from each of the 36 states as enshrined in the constitution, the president would also pick one person from each of the six geopolitical zones in the country," it said.
However, another source said the president is keeping the issue of who will be in his cabinet close to his chest just like he did in 2015.
"What I can tell you is that many of the current ministers may not be considered in the next cabinet. We are expecting a massive cabinet change," it added.
How long can the president continue to make private trips whenever he so decides and is this type of behavior healthy and acceptable?
You will recall that this is the eleventh time the Nigerian president will be traveling to the United Kingdom alone in his less than 4-year tenure as president of Nigeria.
A major question that has arisen as a result of the trips is the decision of African presidents to continue to travel abroad for medical treatment rather than build new or maintain existing medical facilities in the country.
What use are the hospitals in a country if the leaders who fund these facilities do not have faith in the facilities themselves?
President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest trip comes after three weeks of strikes by health care professionals who are calling for better working conditions and more funding. It is easy to see why the president and the ruling political class are less concerned about the state of hospitals in the country – they do not visit these centers!
With a president whom the citizen's claims is unfit to rule and who continues to escalate the assertions with unscheduled medical trips abroad, is it fair to say Nigeria is a country on Auto-pilot?
Header Image Credit: GLOBAL VILLAGE EXTRA