• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

President Buhari’s deserved retirement teeth

As Buhari returns to Abuja

FEW would have noticed that the President was away again until a media aide made it public. President Muhammadu Buhari has been mainly an absentee president whose presence was marked by few right steps in his long strides of indiscernible decisions.

We lived with it. He announced early in the administration that age would affect his performance. He delivered on that. Buhari got into office at 72 – Olusegun Obasanjo was 10 years younger in his first term.

Age was not on Buhari’s side. It did not take long to know that other things were not much different. Buhari stands out as Nigeria’s most intolerant president. He gained fame and notoriety in equal measures for his selective angers against Nigerians.

He would be remembered as the most absentee president in the eight-year stretch during which he had health challenges. We were told about an ear infection in 2015 followed by drawn silences over his long absences that became increasingly embarrassing for his media minders.

When did it become the norm to tell us what ails the President? He spent more than five months on medical vacations in 2017. Minister of Information, the inimitable Lai Mohammed said the health status of the president was a private matter.

“I think he is the only one that is at liberty to disclose what is wrong with him,” Mohammed told the BBC. “I don’t even want to know, I don’t want to know because it is a very personal issue. I think even as a president you are entitled to your privacy once in a while and I think there is nothing more private than the state of health of a person.”

The lies about his health could be one of the areas of President Buhari’s repentance. He recently asked Nigerians to forgive him for whatever ways he offended. We cannot count his offences well.

President Buhari approved the construction and equipping of 14-bed space presidential clinic at the cost of N21 billion in the 2022 budget. It is new project from the moribund Aso Rock Clinic that gulps billions of Naira yearly. Possibilities abound with this project that has facilities like “a healing garden”, and was to be made available to other African leaders.

In March the pre-commissioning inspection of the State House Medical Centre, as the President has re-designated it, was done. Did the President ignore his new clinic over a dental matter? Was the centre delivered without a dental facility? These are not important.

Only if you are Buhari, or has been a president for eight years, would you qualify to hold an opinion on presidential teeth and where they can be treated. These are not ordinary teeth. We should not forget that Buhari is our oldest president in office. Certain terms and conditions apply to him. He never forgets those privileges.

Read also: Buhari to see dentist in London, two weeks to handover

Was there not a time he went to London to treat malaria? Which is more complicated to treat, aching teeth or malaria? Only Buhari can tell.
It seems he has bitten too much in eight years. His bites into loans have seen the Budget Office raise alarm for the first time – Nigeria was heading to dangerous thresholds in her embracement of loans. Buhari’s final bite is an $800 million loan, only days ago, and weeks to his departure.

Where he needed to bite, he had shaky teeth. Nigerians had no clue that presidential imponderables that included no solutions to killings across Nigeria could be a dental challenge. What else did the teeth prevent him from doing?

Unused to presidential health bulletins, as we are, the news of new teeth for the President was an invasion of our privacy. Does the President even care if we have teeth or their condition? He is patron of the Nigerian Dental Association. Has he patronised it?

Anybody can do anything with the President’s teeth. Nigerians will only be concerned if there an attempt to tamper with the tooth gap with which they have known him.

Buhari deserves his retirement teeth having expended his teeth, in eight years, in service to Nigeria. How we wish our pensioners have parting health services to cater for their ailments, just a wish, they are not presidents.

Finally…
PRISONERS are to be fed at N271.40 per meal in 2023. That is what the N22.44 billion comes to for 75,507 inmates. The amount is much lower if logistics and procurement processes are factored in, according to Dr. KCU Macebuh, a former Member of the House of Representatives. Number of inmates increase daily from new in-takes; they will be part of the budget. Which meal can N271.40 buy today?

WHO knows what Femi Otedola intends to achieve by going public with details of his failed business transactions with Tony Elumelu? The public should be still grateful to Otedola. While the two fat cats regale us with tales of the billions of Naira the businesses make as profit, they have also reminded those who bought shares of the companies who have not earned dividends since then that they were cheated. Some should be heading to court.

JOY Ejikeme, 16, who emerged over-all best student in UTME has been awarded a N3m scholarship by Innoson Vehicles. Joy’s scores are – English Language 98%, Physics 89%, Biology 94%, and Chemistry 81%. She is a student of Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, though her parents who are from Enugu State live in Nnewi. Joy’s father is a commercial motorcycle rider, okada rider.

.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues