Optics: What do the new pictures about Buhari say?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

Nigerians have been reacting differently to the second visit of some Governors to President Buhari in London.

Seven Governors, two from the PDP, were airlifted to the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom on Wednesday 26th July. It has been interpreted as a move made by the Presidency to atone for the haphazard and suspect nature of the first visit which included four APC Governors, John Odigie Oyegun, and Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport.

Whereas that visit produced one photo of a breakfast – which has been discarded as a fraud by many – the media team around the President in London has made sure to present more than one view point of the President this time.

Buhari, from the images of the recent visit, can be seen standing for a shoot with the Governors, shaking hands with Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and of him seated adjacent to Abdulaziz Yari. The multiple angles of the pictures appear aimed at conveying the sense that Buhari is not only aware but can move around.

Not only is the aim to show that Buhari can move but that he can move by himself. This would be the impression of the absence of any other assistants in the new photographs, as against the presence of aides in the photo from the visit of the first set of Governors.

Pictures do not tell the entire story of a person’s state of health, and it would be better if there was a video from any of these visits. But by showing images of Buhari in which he moved both arms – one in shaking and the other raised in laughter – and both legs, an argument is being made that the President is definitely not in eh vegetative state that has been declared by many critics.

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