President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence from the country had begun ruffling feathers from the moment he sent the Senate an official notice handing his government over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to “coordinate” while he received treatment in London.
It was 103 days packed with vitriol from naysayers and opposition, false prophecies from politicians turned soothsayers and everything else that made for premium political drama. President Buhari returned to the country yesterday and borrowing from Senate President Bukola Saraki’s statement, he arrived “whole, hale and hearty”.
From the actors of the drama that constituted his absence, here’s our list of winners and losers and we’ll start with the losers:
Governor Ayodele Fayose
For every assertion he made while Buhari was away and for leading a fraction of Nigerians to believe he had genuine insight into the president’s state of health. Fayose blew hot each time he spoke to the press; visits to the president by other governors and photos of him regardless, he still threatened to release photos of Buhari on life support. With every new unsubstantiated claim Fayose made about the president’s health, it became clear that he was riding on the wings of the situation to score political points. We won’t be shocked to hear him say the man who returned on Saturday is only a clone of the real president, or how much lower can Fayose go?
“President Buhari is NOT better and he will NEVER return as president” were the words of the national nuisance after Acting President Osinbajo visited Buhari in London and said that he was in “high spirits”. Fani-Kayode also challenged the president to give Nigerians “proof of life and proof of lucidity”. Now that he got what he asked for and even more, we hope he’ll shut up for good.
The “Fake News Network” took a quick break from attacking their own sinking president to mock President Buhari’s absence from the country during the trivia segment of one of its programmes. That may have made for good content for the network but it was a very conspicuous slight on Nigeria and Nigerians. Now that Buhari is back, we hope CNN will draw up questions in the line of “the president of which country has lost all his inside men in less than six months in office?”. Deal with your gargantuan issues while we manage ours.
The opposition party had a field day discrediting the Buhari administration and they had a measure of justification. Despite sending two of its governors in the convoy to London to ascertain the president’s health, the party still raised doubts about his ability to continue to lead.
Buhari’s return to the country marks victory for all Nigerians for waiting out over three months and keeping faith. The news of his return yesterday was met with goodwill and well wishes from all quarters as opposed to bitterness that may have been planted due to his long absence. It’s clear no one really wants to end up with a dead president. Now that he’s back, Buhari owes it to all Nigerians to deliver on his promises with speed.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo
We’re proud of this man and we’re sure the president is even more proud. The level of competence he showed while he acted on behalf of the president is praiseworthy and he has earned a great measure of trust from Nigerians. It’s safe to say VP Osinbajo performed better in the last three months than his boss would have if he were around. Maybe we should stick with him carrying out coordinating functions with more powers.
Their agitation came in the nick of time. The protesters are taking the glory for prompting the president to make the decision to return to the country after they held a vigil outfront of his residence in London. Whether they had an input in that decision or not, they still win. At least, the president has returned, we’ll wait till Monday to find out if he will #ResumeOrResign.