President Buhari has been out of work for 115 days out of the 191 days in 2017 alone.
The duly elected president of the country, Muhammadu Buhari, has been away from the country since May 7, after departing to London for his second medical leave of the year.
Nobody knows what is wrong with the president. Nobody knows where the president really is. Or if he’ll ever be fit enough to resume his duties.
A conspiracy of silence has been woven around the president’s state of health that it’s hard to ignore rumours that it is a dire one.
Recently, Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, never one to shy away from unguarded remarks, declared that the president has been on a life support machine since June 6.
This spurious claim is just another in a long line of unsubstantiated narratives surrounding the president’s actual state of health.
At some point, the rumour mill was spinning tales about how the president was already dead.
It’s hard to knock out these claims because, with its deafening silence, the president’s team has created a blank canvas for anyone to paint any story.
Ever since the president of the country has holed up in London, he’s had a single direct interaction with the ‘Nigerian’ people: an audio recording that addressed the Eid-el Fitrcelebration by the country’s Muslim population.
This was a problem for a whole lot of reasons.
Only days prior to the emergence of that tape, Sahara Reporters had claimed that the president had suffered from a speech impairment.
If we pretend for a second that this is a nation that doesn’t function abnormally, this is clearly a claim that, if true, could constitutionally render Buhari incompetent to ever resume his duties as president.
So when an audio recording of the president emerged only days later, it was clearly desperately exploiting the occasion to indirectly redirect the discourse, which it did, albeit, poorly.
The dubiousness of the tape aside, Buhari addressed the country on the theme of unity while he spoke exclusively in Hausa, a language that automatically alienates half of the country’s population that isn’t the president’s kin.
This was another powder keg that set tongues wagging at the president’s insensitivity to the Nigerian population, and it is surprising that the tape went through more than one person on the president’s team without a single one saying, “Hey guys, maybe we should take a minute to talk about this.”