​STATE OF THE NATION: NIGERIA AT THE MERCY OF HER LEADERS

May God grant our President speedy recovery and safe return to the country in no long time. On a side note, for how long will our health system remain comatose such that our leaders cannot use the hospitals they so much brag about when giving accounts of their stewardship? A few years ago, a state governor built and commissioned ‘a world-class’ hospital in his state with much fanfare. However, a few months later, he himself begged to travel abroad to treat his own limb – the ‘world-class’ hospital is not adequately equipped to treat simply a medical diagnosis. Where then is the much-touted ‘class’?

For the third time in 25 months, the current President of Nigeria, President Muhammad Buhari is on medical vacation in a foreign land even though we have University College Hospital (UCH, Ibadan). Likewise, almost all federal universities have ‘world-class’ medical centres called TEACHING HOSPITALS. The fact that they are even named Teaching Hospital brings up another question. If the hospitals are so good that they cannot treat our President or other political leaders, what and how are the trainee medics taught? The successive government in the country has neglected our health system to the detriment of the masses. Sadly enough, they have made huge insurance for themselves against unforeseen health challenges, in and out of office even with the hard-earned taxes of the same poor and helpless masses they have wickedly left to the mercy of the very poor health system.

Each day, the Presidency reminds us of the ‘standard the world over’ when the citizenry takes a swipe at their action or inaction. I am eagerly waiting for the day they would remind us that the Queen and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom do not have a standby aircraft. I wish they would tell me one day that the US President does not travel to either Germany or the UK for Medical Vacation. I am waiting to hear that the standard in the US is that the President pays for all his personal needs including medical bills. I sincerely hope they would one day remind me that the country is not responsible for the upkeep of the family of the POTUS, hence, the President MUST buy his own foodstuff from the salary he earns. In a like manner, I wish the Presidency could tell us that the UK Prime Minister uses commercial flight and even rail. Theirs are nations where the law is supreme and every other being must take a bow before the law.

Recently, Mr. Garba Shehu, Media Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that Nigeria incurs around £1,000 daily for keeping the Presidential Jet NAF 001 on standby in London for whatever reason… That is a whopping “£50,000 in 50 days! So, in 50 days, we would have incurred £50,000 (on an idle Jet) aside from the medical bills and the cost of maintaining a few staff members, equally on standby. I hope these staff members are in private apartments at no cost to the nation. Otherwise, just imagine how much it would cost the nation to get them hotel rooms, feeding and inconvenience allowances.

Permit me to ask these questions:

Do we realize what medical facilities could be procured for our ailing health system with £50,000? Even if it is just a machine, it is a good addition and a boost for our hospitals. Alas, we prefer to spend millions abroad rather than completely overhauling the system at home.

How long does it take for a Jet to fly from Abuja to London?

What sort of emergency are we expecting when our prayer is that the President returns safely, hale and hearty and the APC Chairman says the President is fast recovering, ‘in a robust manner’?

Who is fooling who?

We all cannot be so incredulous especially when APC once taught us never to believe all that the government in power says – either in good faith or hypocritically!

God bless Nigeria!!!

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