By George Onmonya
Like most Nigerians I cannot say I know exactly what is wrong with President Muhammadu Buhari apart from the rumors and unsubstantiated stories from the public, social media, blogs, online newspapers and magazines. What I know like majority of Nigerians is that the president has been out of the country for about three months now over his health problems. A president of a nation does not stay away in foreign land this long except he is critically ill. It is quite difficult to conclude whether President Buhari can come back and continue with his job because of the mystery and charade surrounding his health problems which is being orchestrated by coterie of closed associates, family and friends who manage his affairs.
We have made many excuses for President Muhammadu Buhari but there comes a time when a people must stand by the nation and not by the president, politicians or emotional supporters. We must be bold enough to give our advise to the president, his supporters and the people who manage him. History will not forgive us if we keep silent when we should and must talk.
A personality like President Buhari, of all people, should live by example and this is the time in the life of this nation that we need such example like no other time and he will write his name in gold. I don’t know how much he knows about how what is going on right now is being interpreted. I think it would be better to discuss this before we move ahead.
Right now one school of thought’s interpretation of what is going on is that the north wants to stay in power for eight years and because of that even though President Buhari is not able to take charge of the country, the cabal controlling his affairs are doing everything to keep him in power until 2019 when they intend to replace him with a northerner. The Acting President must not be president because power would go back to Yorubas again. Can you blame them? Some notable northern leaders have been expressing their views to the media that in the case of the incpacitation or demise of the president, his deputy must step down so that their region must complete Eight years in power. These worries from the north over President Buhari’s health and Acting President Osinbajo taking over has also prompted the national assembly into suggesting that there should be constitutional review in which in the case of the demise of the president or incapacitation the Vice President cannot spent more than the terms of the president in the case that he decides to run for president.
Another school of thought is interpreting this whole situation as the north’s obsession with power and controlling the center, what some people refer in some quarter as ‘born to rule’ mentality, and this mentality will not allow President Muhammadu Buhari’s handlers allow him resign honorably as the case of President Umar Musa Yar’adua who embarrassingly had to die inside Aso Rock villa before the cabal gave up.
Whatever it is, however it is being interpreted, President Buhari must be advised by anybody who care about him and this country to do the right thing. The right thing now is simply for the man to resign because from what we are witnessing the man cannot continue because of his complicated health problems. The one thing he must do is to show example that all the petty squabbles over which region or religion is in charge of the country does not matter but a good and visionary leader. National interest must override personal interest(s). Sometimes we must let go to make things better because holding on will be making things worse both for ourselves and for others.
I really don’t want to know what is wrong with the president if he doesn’t want to make it public, but I really care about the direction my country is heading, everyone should care. No individual or groups are above the country. We must understand that as a people. To build a great nation our reasoning must transcend all these primordial sentiments of tribe, religion and region.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision on this matter is being watched by the whole world. His decision, if he decides to resign honorably now, will be an example not just for Nigeria but for Africa. If he resigns, Acting President Osinbajo will become president, so what? Mr. Osinbajo will not become president forever, no matter how long it takes he will pack his bags and get out of Aso Rock villa some day.
Good name is better than money and the president has the chance to write his name in gold on the solid rock of history, for there is no time like now to do the right thing.