By Simeone Tarka
When you look at the number of churches and mosques that bestrode the land, one can easily concede that Nigerians are very religious and godly people. But the conclusion might be the worst mistake anybody can make.
The hearts of majority of Nigerians are far from anything religious. And the evidence is not far-fetched It explains why evil dominates the land. It is reason, in spite of the overt subscription to religiosity, violent crimes besiege the land. It explains why Nigerians are very corrupt and even steal from their own farms monies they don’t even need in their lifetime.
It is reason why Nigerians have taken over the throne of God Almighty and believe they have the power to determine life and death. It is these same arrogant convictions and the usurpation of the power of God Almighty that make some Nigerians feel a leader ought not to fall sick and recuperate from illness.
There is so much inexplicable and needless fuss about the health condition of President Muhammadu Buhari. When he was away for treatment in London for 52 days, all manner of speculations polluted the land. Some said, he was dead; others said he is severely sick and incapacitated to continue in office.
Just any other odd thing was said about Buhari’s sickness. Surely, others may have prayed in their secrecy that he dies because one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune. Very ungodly Nigerians keep pulling satanic strings against themselves, the nation and its leaders.
There is nothing spectacular about anyone falling sick. It does not matter whether you are a leader, a lawyer, market woman or bricklayer. Even doctors who treat others also fall sick and sometimes, even die from ailments they have used their talents to save the lives of others. It is precisely the mystery and divinity of life.
Only God Almighty has the power to decree life and death. It is only Him who knows every phase of your life; that is when to rise to stardom; when to ascend the leadership ladder; when to fall sick and when to recover from the illness and for how long.
The current anger in the land now is because President Buhari says he needs more time to recuperate from his ailment. And to some perverse Nigerians, it is an indication that he is gravely sick and should have willingly vacated office. They are more interested in the power which resides in Buhari. They are not concerned about his recovery. Despite their religiosity, morality has not thought them to pray for sick souls. They eat, drink and sleep on evil thoughts. And in this satanic lifestyle, they curry followership.
Ekiti state Governor Ayodele Fayose who also tags himself a Pastor predicted the death of President Buhari at the peak of the 2015 electioneering campaigns. And some debauch Nigerians who share his odd vision about life, feel Buhari’s ailment is eventually his death. So, they are happy and whisper it from ear to ear.
But President Buhari never concealed the fact that he was severely sick for the first time in his life. When he returned to Nigeria after treatment in London, he informed Nigerians that he would still go for follow-up medical checks , which is normal with anybody gravely sick as he admitted. He also said, he needed enough time to recover and re-bounce back to his healthy self. Nigerians heard it. But some evil-minded ones felt he has no such rights because he is President of Nigeria. Haba!
Last week, President Buhari told Nigerians he would no longer be going to the office, but remains at home, in his official residence in the villa, and only performs necessary functions, as he needed rest. Obviously, the tasking routine of office denied him this rest since he came back after treatment. He made it clear that all the files requiring his attention would be brought to him at his official residence at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
No doubt, Nigerians, political jobbers, businessmen and all manner of people deprived the President the needed rest when he came back after treatment. They besieged him daily and very mindless of the fact that he is still recovering from sickness. These same Nigerians take two months leave in their offices to rest after treating malaria fever. But Buhari does not deserve it.
There is wisdom is what Kaduna state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai disclosed about the necessity of President Buhari to rest and recover fully. He said, the pressure of governance does not come from official files or the memos a Governor or the President peruses daily; but from the rigours seeing people and holding discussions. It exalts an incredible strain on the body and soul. Nigerians have subjected President Buhari to this treatment, regardless of his condition and the President says, it’s enough, his health first and some people have filled the rumour-mill with every garbage.
What is so extra-ordinary about such declaration that some Nigerians are making a mountain out of a molehill? Has government ceased functioning because President Buhari is recuperating from illness? Framers of the Nigerian Constitution and elsewhere in the world are not fools to make provision for deputies to chief executives. They envisaged that the chief executive and in this case, President Buhari could fall sick, proceed on annual leave or even travel out for whatever reasons, but a vacuum should not be created.
For the 52 days he was in London for medical vacation, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo acted on his behalf. He is back and still Nigeria’s President and since he has no enough strength to face the ardous task of governing Nigeria minutely as required, the Vice President would continue to do a greater percentage of the official duties. It means, he shall only attend to extremely very sensitive and important official matters. So, where has he erred to warrant the bashing and evil propaganda by some devilish Nigerians?
Has Vice President Osinbajo complained President Buhari is inaccessible to him? Or he is unable to relate with him on state matters. Can someone be bold enough to clear the air? Why invoke the Constitution at this point? If Buhari becomes so incapacitated to continue in office, the Constitution does not say he should be forced to relinquish power. He has to do it willingly and Buhari is one leader who is largely very honest with himself and Nigerians. He will not spend a minute of delay, once the circumstances suggest that he can no longer continue in office.
Nigerians stop idling over mundane issues. So, the time has come for President Buhari’s loyalists to act; to stand up and to defend a leader who is unjustly and unfairly maligned by power mongers and ethnic champions. They should stand up and put an end to the madness of those playing politics with the President’s health, as if falling ill is the exclusive reserve of the President. The Nigerian Constitution does not say when the President falls sick, he should vacate power.
On the flip side, the power mongers should rather be happy that President Buhari has minimized the extent of state engagements. And in his place, the Vice President is actively functioning and performing as they claimed. The same vagabonds in power claimed President Buhari is running a Northern agenda in the Presidency and did everything at their disposal to vilify him. But today, the reason of Buhari’s plea of time to fully recover from his ailment has increased the visibility of Vice President Osinbajo. Should this not make them happier hence Osinbajo has the opportunity now to also promote a Southern agenda.
Nigerians should begin to be serious with themselves. They should learn to engage and dissipate their energies on worthwhile ventures. They should copy the positive attitudes of citizens of other nations. It does not mean the number of years German Chancellor Angela Merkel has remained on seat, she has not fallen sick. But have Germans ever made an issue out of it because their leader is sick?
It is so sad and irritating to realize that despite the extent of the endowment of Nigerians, some deliberately make themselves the laughing stock of the world. President Buhari is still loved by the Nigerian masses and no matter the ill-feelings power mongers nurse against him, it will not obliterate this passion for him. The power vermins can only wish and invoke satanic prayers against him, but God Almighty will not give His blessings to it. It is time for Nigerian masses to rise up in defence of President Buhari against the swords of these vultures and locusts of power.
Tarka, an elder-statesman writes from Tarka Local Government Area, Benue State.