Thursday, 2 March 2017

Before all Nigerians visit President Buhari in London

                President Buhari on vacation in London
The indefinite vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari in London and the numerous Nigerian digni­taries paying him unsought vis­its are degrading the recession­ary economy. The first Nigerian to embark on the undesirable visit was the Inspector General of Po­lice, Mr. Ibrahim Idris who led a high powered police delegation to visit Buhari. Then the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amo­sun and Senator Daisy Danjuma embarked on the voyage. The Na­tional Leader of the APC and for­mer governor of Lagos State, Sen­ator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the former interim chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande were also in Britain to see Buha­ri! The First Lady, Aisha Buhari has also visited her husband and thereafter left for Saudi Arabia to pray for him! Recently, the Sen­ate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Rep­resentatives, Hon, Yakubu Doga­ra also paid a courtesy call on Bu­hari! Additionally, the governors under the People’s Democratic Party are also making frantic ar­rangements to visit Mr. President! Predictably, the Judiciary, Legisla­ture and Executive will soon join the train in going on this point­less journey. Thereafter, every Nigerian, one after the other, will also visit Buhari in order to curry his favour, after all every Nigeri­an needs the favour of Mr. Presi­dent in order to get appointment.
But does President Buha­ri know the financial and social implications of his continued stay in London? From all indications, it seems Mr. President is unaware of the attendant implications; if he knows, he would have returned to the country by now! First, the fi­nancial outlay in hard-earned for­eign currencies in keeping Mr. Buhari in London since January 20, 2017 till date is enormous! It is exorbitant to maintain a presi­dent in another country in the ab­sence of medication and when the cost of medication is added to the running cost of maintaining the president in a foreign land, the cost is usually humongous! Like­wise, the cost of maintaining his personal physicians, courtiers and entourages in foreign currencies will further deplete the foreign re­serve. Furthermore, it is interna­tional practice for aircrafts to be charged for parking after the first two hours of landing in an air­port. To this end, the federal gov­ernment has been paying park­ing charges on the Presidential Jet that conveyed Mr. President and his entourages to London since they left the country!
Above all, when the costs in foreign currencies, of those pay­ing unneeded visits to Mr. Pres­ident are added to the personal cost of Mr. President, the summa­tion will be mind-bending! Sec­ond, the social implication of Bu­hari’s continued stay in London is that it is causing the country inter­national embarrassment. It is so because there is no economic wis­dom for a country under a reces­sion to waste her hard earned for­eign currencies on her president in a foreign land just because he wants to rest or for the purpose of medication. This can only happen in Nigeria! If the visit of Mr. Bu­hari to London is to rest, are there no places in Nigeria where he can take his rest? If the visit of Mr. Bu­hari to London is for medication and he has spent almost two years in office, are two years not enough for him to have built a function­al hospital that could take care of his health and those of his nucle­ar family? How many years did it take the British Government to build the hospital where Buhari is taking his medication present­ly? Did it take the British Govern­ment hundred years to build it? With a budget of N3.87 billion for the State House Medical Centre in 2016, is it appropriate for the president to visit a foreign hos­pital for medication? How was a whopping N3.87 billion spent on a medical centre that can’t handle the health challenges of the pres­ident of a country yet the money is not accounted for?
However, it is worrisome that Nigerians are not being told the truth as to what Buhari is actually doing in London! Retrospective­ly, before Buhari left the country on January 20, 2017 for Britain, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina told Nigerians that he was going to the United Kingdom on vaca­tion and also undertake a “rou­tine” medical check-up. Is it the routine medical check-up that is still keeping Buhari in London?

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