The interest of the nation and Buhari's personal interests intersect at this point and a single action would serve both interests well. This single action is to quietly ease Mr. Buhari out of the office of the president.
Except for those who are selfishly invested in President Buhari's presidency all other people know that Mr. Buhari's ability to govern is imperiled by his sickness. It is not his fault. Each of us can get sick and those of us who have reached the landmark age of 70 know how had even simple tasks can become. And if simple tasks are difficult consider being a president, especially the president of Nigeria!
It was important for Mr. Buhari to be the Nigerian civilian president and that mission has been accomplished. He and Mr. Obasanjo are the only Nigerians who have headed the country twice as a military man and as a civilian. It is not likely that any other Nigerian would accomplish this feat. Having accomplished his life's ambition Mr. Buhari should be allowed to live out his life in as much comfort as possible. He needs to enjoy his family and to pass on family stories to his children and grandchildren.
The best people to perform this onerous task are PMB's family and friends. They owe it to him to let him realize that he would be serving Nigeria best by removing himself from office in a peaceful and fluent manner. He would be remembered honorably as one who took a step down so that Nigeria would step up. But if this quiet approach is not possible, the legislature would call for his medical records and decide PMB's ability to continue as the commander-in-chief and president. Nigeria is bigger than any one of us.
Nigeria needs a strong person to lead her in these difficult times. Nigeria is a challenge to any person of any age. Mature president Obasanjo surrounded himself with the best brains Nigeria had and yet struggled; Young President Jonathan also had some strong ministers and struggled. It is no surprise that old and ailing President Buhari with weaker ministers is struggling mightily in the office. It is fortunate that Buhari has a vice president who is both young and who has exhibited some ability to govern. He should be put back in charge.
Nigerian local politics of North and South should not stop Nigeria from moving forward. To sacrifice Mr. Buhari in the interest of appeasing the North will do good to nobody. If Mr. Osibanjo's government brings progress to Nigeria both the North and South would benefit. Christians and Muslims would be better off.
Perhaps the most important meeting of the administration is the FEC meeting scheduled for every Wednesday. It was earlier amended to twice a month to accommodate Mr. Buhari's health requirements. Then Mr. Osibanjo presided over it for a couple of months due to the president's sick leave. Now it is being skipped for two weeks for unexplained reasons. It is at FEC that ministers report on what is going on in their ministries. It is the FEC that approves most important moves by the federal government. One of the implications of canceling FEC meetings is that the government is at a standstill. Nigeria cannot afford to stand still. World events move at the speed of light and those not fast enough would be left behind.
Nigeria has a lot of work to do and must get on with it.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
April 20, 2017