Buhari’s Vacation And the Revelation of Conscience —By Oke Nnabiget


Oke Nnabiget|28 January 2017 A lot of stories have dominated the media recently. The ecstasy as well as the frustration of the many Americans and non-Americans alike that accompanies the beginning of a Trump era, the much discussed Brexit and the audacity of its frontiers, the Italian hotel avalanche that claimed over 23 lives among others. And while the Gambia’s Jameh and Adama Barrow drama seemed vanishing with its mug of history for Africans, Nigerians have suddenly resonated a topic of discuss. It is the berserk rumor of the death of President Muhammadu Buhari.  Just last week, President Buhari wrote to the Senate, stating his intention to spend ten days vacation in the United Kingdom. The Senate immediately mandated Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo to serve in acting capacity, and Mr. President junketed to London. This is normal in every clime and ours is no exception.
Surprisingly or rather habitually, Nigerians began to predict the death of Mr. President. An online news media with little or no authority on the Nigerian government had reported the demise of President Buhari in a London hospital with claims of confirmation by the Nigerian commission in the United Kingdom.  In the home front, many opposition media organizations and indeed enemies of the Nigerian state have championed the rumor of Mr. President’s death. This time they did it with every breath that filters through their nostrils. The rumor mongers and harbingers of death went berserk, spreading evil and false speculations of death about President Buhari. The stories went buzzy. The Presidency denied it but these folks, ilk of bad bedfellows, propagandists and predictors of death wouldn’t be conciliated. They waved away every denial from the Presidency.  Unable to contain it, President Buhari pushed to confirm his aliveness in the UK. In reply, he made brief remarks to fellow countrymen and took photograph of him, relaxed in his London apartment. But will the doubting Thomases believe? Aren’t they gods or better still God? Of course Nigerians contest everything under the sun. They do not only predict lotteries and ponzy schemes, they are also reputable for predicting death. Remember Fayose, in 2015? He did forecasted PMB’s demise in power should Nigerians vote him. Is this a manifestation of his prophesy? Okay, let’s ponder on these. What have the propagandist got to gain in the death or aliveness of President Buhari. Will Buhari’s chitchat of death put an end to Nigeria’s multifaceted problems or will it compound our woes? Is PMB a superman so as not to get medical attention? Oh! I think he just committed a crime embarking on a vacation to the UK —his place of routine medical checkup. If Nigerians are aware; if only they’ve read the holy books, then will they understand that leaders ought to be prayed for, and not to be wished a funeral? The emissaries, the harbingers, the carriers and spreaders of Buhari’s death rumor should know that their act is against national interest and clearly contradicts national loyalty. The propagandists should know that God blesses with life the one whom many propose death. Buhari may live to attend the funerals of some of his foes. I share with the President, the disappointment that must have greeted him in his place of vacation. Certainly he may not have good time. He needs the prayers of compatriots much more than ever.   He needs not just his personal doctor but his personal intercessor because those not belonging to his living room, his kitchen; those who are members of the other room are out to devour him. God forbid!   Oke Nnabiget
Is writing from the University of Calabar.