“Highly reclusive”, “abhors publicity” are some of the phrases that have been used to describe Yusuf Buhari. Seemingly averse to the attractions that come with being the only son of Nigeria’s President, Yusuf Buhari unlike his sibling Zahra has largely shunned the public. That was the case until he was involved in a motorbike accident that nearly claimed his life.
However, as sycophancy is a serious business in Nigeria, political lackeys have started using the opportunity of his unfortunate accident and eventual recovery to curry favours with the presidency. When President Buhari went for his long-term medical leave in 2017, the same sycophants went into business via prayers, rallies and other acts tailored towards oiling their political patronage.
Now that Yusuf is back, two giant billboards have been mounted with the inscription, “Nigeria children are grateful to God Almighty for your life, will always pray for you, uncle Yusuf we love you” with an accompanying image of the president’s son.
This is a clear case of political patronage; the major anomaly in the billboard is the inclusion of the word “Nigerian children”. The billboard fails to mention the Nigerian children who are wealthy enough to pull off such a massive project for Yusuf Buhari.
At the moment, majority of Nigerian Children are unhappy. Many of their peers are still in Boko Haram captivity. According to UNICEF, Nigeria currently has 10.5 out-of-school children – the world’s highest number. Sixty percent of those children are in northern Nigeria. About sixty percent of out-of-school children are girls.
Many children have had to drop out of school because their parents cannot meet up with their school fees payment due to the economic hardship in the country.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said that Nigerians are getting poorer, while the ones in public schools are not enjoying a conducive learning environment due to lack of investment in infrastructure by the government.
When it comes to healthcare, Nigerian children do not receive quality and affordable service; unlike “Uncle Yusuf” who was rushed to a private hospital in Abuja when he had his accident, and then flown to Germany because Nigerian hospitals, even the one in Aso Rock could do nothing for him. Nigeria is still one of only three countries in the world that have never stopped transmission of polio – the other two are Pakistan and Afghanistan. With increasing mortality rates in the country and a health care sector that is near collapse, Nigerian children won’t have such luxurious fund to erect a billboard for their “Uncle”.
Yusuf, now that you are back and in good health, it will be in the interest of this children that the Federal government under the leadership of your father President Buhari do the needful to provide a better condition of living for Nigerian children. As for the billboard, it’s surely the handiwork of political jobbers that crave for favour from President Buhari.