PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA: Close your eyes for one moment and allow yourself the fantasy of imagining that all is well with Nigeria. The hospitals are good; the road networks are not death traps; also, the schools are well equipped and fully functional; the citizens are not restive; and the government is awake to its responsibilities to the people…
You may all wake up now.
The then President of the “Free World” President Donald Trump, once came down with Covid; and this was after spending his time talking down on the virus; calling it a hoax and paying little or no mind to the citizens who were dropping around him daily in their tens of thousands. As far as he was concerned, “it is what it is”.
Yet when he came down with Covid, the entire country seemingly paused; even his political opponents took a break from needling him, and he was rushed to the facility where people of his status are taken to receive treatments when they fall ill. He was managed in there and began to recover in there, and was discharged to complete his recovery from the comfort of the White House.
Doctors who managed him, were doctors who I would like to freely assume, were United States citizens so irrespective of their political leanings and affiliations, were beholden by the constitution to ensuring that their high profile charge was taken care of in the best way possible.
Then we have Nigeria…
Where politicians announce their arrival into an elected office by proceeding to embezzle and display looted common wealth in their lifestyles and that of their friends and cronies.
Superlative weddings for their children and wards that’ll leave outsiders gasping for breath.
Luxury cars and houses for themselves and their wards.
Holidays and vacations abroad, purchase of expensive properties in exotic locations; taking their children out of the Nigerian education system; and salting them into the best of schools abroad and now… medical refugees.
If there was one thing that I personally was grateful for with the speed Covid overtook the world; it was that the Nigerian politicians were also taken unawares and therefore “trapped” in the country with the people. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. One would have thought that seeing how the pandemic swept through the upper class and stretched the facilities of the (private) hospitals that were able to accommodate them, that the first item on the agenda in a post Covid economy, would be to rehabilitate the health sector.
Once again, the President of what is allegedly the “giant” of Africa, has abandoned his country at a time when they are beset on all fronts; and has gone for his “annual check up” in a foreign country.
At a time when ordinary celebrities “in saner climes” are dragged for considering vacation or traveling out of the country; when politicians cannot even step out of their countries to handle business and everyone is social distancing; the Nigerian President has left a healthcare sector that is crumbling and being held up by a few still dedicated people; to go and flex in another country.
Resident doctors in Nigeria proceeded on a strike a day after he left the country. The minister of labour and productivity, allegedly a medical doctor himself, took to the nation’s airwaves to taunt the doctors with withholding of their wages if they refused to go back to work in the abominable conditions.
But the President who ought to be overseeing all of this and ensuring that the country is running well, is currently “well seated” in a country where doctors are treated like humans. A country where doctors from his own country are running to in droves; because if not for any other thing, the fact that they chose the health sector as a professional space to practice in, earns them the utmost respect not to mention pay; from a country that understands and appreciates.
Again, there is no shame in Buhari’s game or else he would have asked himself a whole lot of questions:
What if, the United Kingdom was not paying their doctors well?
In fact what if the hospitals in the UK are as ill equipped as the ones in Nigeria?
What if the Prime Minister and other top players in the UK had little to no confidence in their healthcare sector; and would rush out to other countries for treatment?
What if he was put under for a procedure then woke up to find himself surrounded by a medical team of 100% indigenous Nigerian practitioners; a large number of whom may be of the “Biafran Boy” extraction?
Which other country has converted their Presidential aircraft to a VIP ambulance; ferrying the President to and from one hospital appointment to the other?
What can the Nigerian President pinpoint as his most important achievement during and post Covid?
How has he made the possibility of another wave a less scary prospect for the people?
You see, there are just too many questions to ask but as usual, Baba is unaware and unconcerned.
Provided he and his family can get on a jet; and go get treated outside Nigeria whenever they want, the rest of the country can burn.
If he returns to ashes, by Jove he will sit on his throne and rule over those ashes.
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