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Buhari: Our Friday, Friday President

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Muhammadu Buhari

In my adolescent years – when orthodox medicine was popular – my late mum, Mrs Esther Nwabufo, would administer a cocktail of rancid medicine to me. This uncharitable and gratuitous gesture, as I considered it to be then, was a Sundayroutine. And I wondered, “why Sunday of all days?”

So, I dreaded Sundays because I knew I would be gulping gobs of dank medicine. Sundaywas now the day my mum acts “officially” as my doctor and pharmacist. Good old memories!

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Lately, President Muhammadu Buhari has been absent from three meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). FEC meetings usually take place every Wednesday.

On 12 April, when the president was absent from the meeting, Lai Mohammed, government spokesman, told Nigerians that the agenda for the day was light; hence the president saw no need of doing his bounden duty.

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And as expected, Mohammed’s utterance effectuated a kerfuffle on social media.

On 26 April, the president was also absent from the meeting or as some Nigerians would say “conspicuously absent”.

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The government spokesman then regaled Nigerians with another hokum that the president chose to work from home on that day.

Also, as envisaged, social media went into a bull-like frenzy with graffiti of memes. I remember, one of the memes I saw on Facebook read: “Buhari is now a Yahoo boy who works from home”. The dust later settled.

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Now, on 3 May, the president was also absent from FEC meeting. This time, Mohammed said the president chose to take some rest at his official residence on the advice of his doctors. Finally, a verisimilitude of truth!

In all of these, the president was sighted at the presidential villa mosque on 21 April. That was where he announced that he was still “hale and hearty” – an idiom most celebrated by Mohammed.

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Also, on 5 May, the president sauntered to the state house mosque again. And this time, the drums were rolled out to celebrate victory over ill-wishers and “mischief makers” – as Femi Adesina would like to call Buhari’s critics.

But I am flummoxed. Is Buhari a Friday, Friday president?

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Yes, is he a “Friday, Friday” president, considering the fact that he has only made “important” cameo appearances on this day?

Please let me state here without being snarky, I empathise with the president. Every mortal must at some point yield to his own mortality. It is a natural order on this quotidian plane.

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The president deserves all the rest he can get. I know he would love to be in good health to rudder the country. But unfortunately this is not the case. Life happens.

However, the business of government must throttle on hard and steady. The cumulus of uncertainty surrounding the president’s health is hoicking things in grey areas. And we need to get out of this fix.

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Again, Nigeria has never been so gripped by trepidation. Rumours are twirling that the president has been poisoned, and already there have been threats of violence by a section of the country should the will of God happen.

I think, at this point, the president must torpedo these rumours which are already assuming a life of their own. It is a patriotic duty if he shoots down these ill and false stories now, and save the country from cataclysmic doom.

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The president must tell Nigerians his state of health, and he must also give other necessary information regarding this to quench the sputtering fire.

In conclusion, I am not in the vanguard for the resignation of the president, but I believe he must transfer power to the vice-president as he did a couple of times before. Health is wealth they say. He should give priority to his health at this time. He needs it.

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by Fredrick Nwabufo

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