Opinion| Dr. Dele Omojuyigbe: Those Protesting Against Buhari Goofed On Democratic Grounds

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Nothing can be more significant at this hour than the revelations emerging from the recent visit of Buhari’s media crew to him in London.

President Muhammadu Buhari with R-L: Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant Media & Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Special Adviser Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina and Personal Assistant Digital/Online Media Lauretta Onochie as he receives Presidential media team as well as Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters at the Abuja House London on 12th August 2017.

The video showing an ebullient President Buhari dispels all doubts about his rumoured, fearful state of health. Those who last week asked him to resign could only have been right to the point of their entitlement to freedom of speech, otherwise they goofed on democratic grounds.

A better option was for them to stimulate the national assembly to investigate the President’s health status as entrenched in the constitution.

Charly Boy protesting in against Buhari

Meanwhile, we forget that the VP’s office is not for adornment but rather for a time like this when the president could be sick and the vice-president would step-in, pending his return.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has carried himself very well in office as acting president, thus questioning the rationale for demanding Buhari’s resignation as president.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (right)

The call seems overly political even if not. It contradicts our kind nature as Nigerians and negates all principles of presidents’ resignations in history which have bordered solely on moral deficiency and not health.

If we claim to be following America’s democratic pattern, we should follow well. Twenty-eighth American President, Woodrow Wilson, ruled from 1913-1921 but suffered cerebral haemorrhage and stroke which rendered him invalid.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. Photo/Wikipedia

He was confined to a wheelchair in the last seventeen months of his second term, yet nobody asked him to resign. He completed his term. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President. He ruled from 1885-89 and 1893-97 but had obesity problem and mouth tumour which disfigured him after operation. No one asked him to resign.

Ronald Reagan ruled from 1981 -1989 but was constantly in and out of hospital on health grounds. He underwent surgery twice, one for urinary tract infections and the other for skin cancer, still no one called for his resignation. Calls for presidents’ resignation across countries are never known to be sickness-induced.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Photo/Wikipedia

Buhari will not die now; his time is not yet. Today, he doubles as the face of the old Nigeria we cherished and the new one we anticipate. Nigeria lost her innocence to carelessness long ago when citizens allowed avarice to creep into their hearts.

Nevertheless, this Buhari represents the good old Nigeria which I grew up to know, a country where honourable societal demands across all states were the same, where one couldn’t flaunt useless money without people looking askance. One pastor said in church that his first car earned him a slap from his aged father instead of praise.

“Tell me where you got the money to buy a car from”, his father demanded, without looking intently to realize that it was the same old car owned by his eldest son but now given to the pastor son.

That was our Nigeria, the great nation sadly lost to scoundrels who overtime bequeathed corruption, scarcity and impoverishment to us as inheritance. I don’t care a dime about APC or PDP or whatever, Nigeria is the issue.

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Dele Omojuyigbe
Dr. Dele Omojuyigbe is a Chief Lecturer and Head of Department, General Studies, at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in Lagos. He holds a PhD in English Language (Media Language Option) from the University of Ibadan and a Master's Degree in Arts from the University of Lagos. The former Acting Editor, Headlines magazine in the Daily Times Group, and later, Associate Editor, Grapevine Magazine, is the author of several books. Dr. Omojuyigbe lives in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

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