President Muhammadu Buhari early last year

President Muhammadu Buhari early last year

‘Doubts remain about Buhari’s health status’—BBC Report

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he will seek re-election for another term of four years in the country’s general election, February 2019.

Buhari’s first term which started on May 29th 2015 is beset by his poor health, a situation which made him spend a better part of last year on medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report on Monday said that “doubts remain about Mr Buhari’s health after he made three trips to the UK last year to seek treatment”.

The 74-year-old president left Nigeria for the UK on Monday where he is billed to meet the Prime Minister, Theresa and attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which starts on 16 April. There is no date yet for Buhari to return to the country.

Official sources had said he is on ‘medical vacation’. There are speculations that Buhari is going to UK to receive medical treatment over the undisclosed ailment he has been living with.

Buhari’s declaration of interest yesterday ended months of speculation about whether the 74-year-old leader plans to run for re-election.

He left the country for the United Kingdom some hours after the declaration at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and 24 state governors attended the NEC meeting.

Femi Adeshina, President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity even asked other contenders “to run away now Buhari has declared” but the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said Buhari’s declaration is inconsequential.

 It is likely that Buhari will not encounter a strong challenge within the ruling party. But he has many challengers outside the party. Although Nigeria has registered more than 60 political parties, the battle is going to be among the ruling APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and a third force, which may be a coalition of political parties or conglomeration of individuals of like minds.

Major power brokers in the country like former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Goodluck Jonathan and former military chief, T.Y Danjuma had, at many occasions showed disapproval for Buhari’s second coming.

More scathing criticisms are coming from the youth who supported Buhari in 2015.

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Buhari is being criticized over his lack of wits on the economy and his alleged religious and ethnic bias. Obasanjo, in his letter, said Buhari, apart from being bereft of the necessary ideas that could move the country out its current doldrums, has been unduly “nepotic” in his appointments.

“But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him,” continued Obasanjo. “One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation.

“It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of (Abdulrasheed) Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up, and not yet in the glare of the media and the public?

“The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to, wittingly or unwittingly, making the nation more divided, and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security.

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles