by Tosin Adesina
While we are yet to come to terms with the rude joke of July 31, 2017, by Fareed Zakaria of CNN on President Buhari’s continued absence from his presidential duties for two consecutive months, popular sports betting website NaijaBet.com placed a bet on when the president will return from his medical vacation.
The company has placed different odds on the president, using the various weekends in August, and as you would expect, Nigerians have started placing their bets.
How the country is at this stage of mockery is not a surprise to keen watchers of activities in the presidency and the way his health has been handled by his handlers. Buhari’s handlers have elevated him to a status of a demi-god while they’ve forgotten that public office is a trust.
President Buhari is not the first Nigerian President to fall sick while in office and won’t be the last. General Ibrahim Babangida as a president traveled to Germany for knee surgery and other presidents have done the same. In 2010, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was in a similar situation. His failure to disclose the details of his health was condemned by General Buhari, now president Buhari.
Zakaria’s joke is a reflection of how battered Nigeria’s image has become internationally and a lot needs to be done to help redeem it from further degradation. While countries presumed to be lesser than Nigeria in size and population are making exploits at the global stage we are now a butt of jokes.
If care is not taken the story of President Buhari’s ailment might be adapted in a Nollywood movie.