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A Nation’s Shame – As President Buhari Heads To UK For Medical Check-Up

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I consider it appalling and rather shameful that up till now, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, is reportedly said to be expected to depart Nigeria for the United Kingdom (UK) for a medical check-up, on Tuesday March 30, 2021. And according to Femi Adesina, Presidential Spokesman, who made this known publicly, he said the President is due to return in the country during the second week of April, 2021.

Aside the fact that President Buhari has consistently failed on his campaign promise in 2015, that he will stop all forms of medical tourism by Government Officials in other to cut down on Government’s recurrent expenditures, one would have expected that by now, the Federal Government of Nigeria would have learnt their lessons with the Corona Virus pandemic, which clearly exposed the deplorable state of the nation’s health sector, and make them to start doing things differently. How long shall we remain amongst developing nations that still allow its President and Commander-In-Chief, to be carrying out ordinary medical check-ups and clinical treatments in another man’s land? Thereby exposing the President to any possible harm or attack on foreign country.

What I find most annoying in all of this, is the fact that Nigeria has all it takes, both human and material resourcefulness to have the best hospitals and medical research/specialists centers in the country. Nigeria medical Doctors are regarded as amongst the best across the globe. We have read and seen many of them doing great medical exploits abroad, contributing to the economies and heath sectors of other foreign countries. Many of them left the country for better opportunities abroad, and where they are being treated with more consideration. So, what stops the Nigerian political leaders from investing heavily into the nation’s health sector and bring it to the globally accepted standards, which would attract other foreigners and their leaders to come seek for medical attention here in Nigeria? Why can’t our politicians, both at the State and Federal levels, do this? Instead of wasting tax payers money in search of medical attention abroad. How come Nigeria, the supposed giant of Africa, cannot boast of having one exceptional health center facility that would comfortably cater for all the medical needs of our political leaders?

As noted by Mr. Smart Ofugara, an advocate of good governance and development: “What explanation does the President have for not developing the National Hospital into a model for everyone, and at the same time be a money spinner? When he was sick and spent so much time in the UK hospital, was he treated free or did his treatment not generate revenue for the UK economy?” Now the President is off again to the UK, for another medical check-up. The question is, why can’t they make the efforts that are required to have the same medical facilities like the one in the UK, here in Nigeria?

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What stops President Buhari from asking the owners of these hospitals he visits every now and then in the UK, to come and establish similar hospitals with all the same facilities in Nigeria? Why do we always like to encourage the waste of public funds in the country, over things that, ordinarily, can be addressed here in Nigeria, if the needed attention is given? How long are we going to continue on this path of shame on our nation? It is just pathetic!

Zik Gbemre.
March 30, 2021

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