The purpose of this essay is to amplify the words President had for Nigerians upon his return from the medical treatment. To amplify is to intensify, increase, strengthen, augment, or enlarge. President Buhari spoke well as a wise statesman. His words had the capacity to encourage a people who are weighed down with seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
This essay is not meant to take away from gravity of my president’s word, utterance, statements, expressions, speech, or declaration. Rather, this writer is attempting to build upon, deepen the meaning of, step up the bite, heap on, or add teeth to the gravity or bite of Buhari’s words. Gravity is defined as the seriousness, importance, significance, severity, enormity, magnitude, or solemnity of the spoken word.
This is the time everyone in Nigeria ought to encourage one another. One who encourages is said to give confidence, strengthen failing hearts, cheer up slumping neighbors, lend support where there is none; strengthen in the face of dissuasion, egg on the runner at the tail end of exhausted marathoners, and promote those lagging behind.
Nigerians are a resilient people who need to be shown love and devotion. Resilience implies that, rather than being stiff and rigid as nkume (rock) or osisi (wood), Nigerians are elastic, flexible, pliant, supple, durable, and toughened by constant bending or malleable experience, Nigerians are a people waiting for a leader to cast a caring eye their way, a nod however slight that would bring “Ahah” to the heart and a mystery smile to the lips of Mona Lisa. Here are President Muhammad Buhari’s fatherly words and the meanings attached to them.
FIRST WORD: I have not been this sick, even in the military
Since Health is uppermost on the minds of our people, we shall leave no stones unchecked in our efforts to provide better health management to our people, including good hospitals, dispensaries, surgery centers, and maternity homes staffed by qualified doctors and nurses and equipped with genuine medications and practices. Good health management shall prevent Nigerians’ frequent travels outside the country and improve our foreign reserves. Nigerian politicians have been overseas and seen how healthcare is organized. What stops them from building good clinics in Nigeria?
SECOND WORD: Thank you, Christian and Muslim Nigerians, for your continued prayers for my health. I want you to please pray for the health and unity of our nation?
Prayers are good. Best prayers are those in which we ask God for wisdom and guidance as we attempt to solve our myriad problems. Nigeria has churches and mosques at every corner of each city. We should encourage church pastors and imams of each mosque to discuss issues affecting the people and ways to resolve the concerns. There should be faith-based initiatives the Nigerian government puts in place to obtain input from religious leaders.
THIRD WORD: Even in hardship, Nigerians still support my government
Nigerians enjoy and will support an administration that shows concern and empathy, where empathy is defined as understanding, sympathy, or compassion. It is expected that Nigerians are more likely to respond to and support an administration whose ears are to the ground, listening and attuned to the local concerns than one that turns a deaf ear. Leaders ought to make use of town halls and informal meetings to hear what citizens are saying. Social workers and community workers should be trained and sent to every Nigerian town and village to help bring government to the people as well as bring people to the government.
FOURTH WORD: I want to repay Nigerians , and the best way to do so will be to serve you with greater re-dedication.
It is admirable that Buhari is anxious to change from the ancient, autocratic military stance of the past decades to a more modern approach that is democratic, egalitarian, free, classless, equal, unrestricted, uncensored, detribalized, and open. Nigerians love a good government that listens to their problems and does something about them. Good listening is effective even in situations where time and budgetary restrictions may prevent immediate solutions.
FIFTH WORD: It is possible I might soon be re-admitted to hospital for follow up on my ailment
Hospitalizations and medications are not the answer to our health problems. God has made our bodies so wonderfully and fearfully constructed we can withstand diseases if we only learn how to take care of the structures we are housed in. Taking proper care of our bodies includes proper nutrition, exercising, and adequate resting. Western drugs are harmful and have side effects that compound our problem and hasten our demise or death.
I am appealing to Nigerians to continue to pray for unity of our nation.
Nigerians are a praying people. Our prayers are not always answered because we are praying for the wrong reason, asking for wrong things, and not waiting enough for things to work out. Although there are churches and mosques at every corner of the Nigerian cities yet our problems persist because all we are interested in praying and serving God for is to receive material things, such as money, cars, or mansions. We ought to be interested in asking God to give us visions in order to find ways to serve our country men and women in ways God has prepared us.
SEVENTH WORD: Osinbajo will continue to serve as Acting President while I rest some more.
Although Vice President Osinbajo is ably qualified to act in the absence of Buhari, Nigerians may consider increasing the number of Vice Presidents to 6 to represent the nation’s geopolitical zones created under Abacha’s regime. A nation as large as Nigeria with a population of 190,305,502 (over 190 million) people, as of March 11, 2017, needs more than just a Vice President. We suggest 6 Vice Presidents, where a Vice president represents each zone in order to do justice to the entire population.