Sunday 20 April 2008

Nigeria: Yar'Adua healthy from Germany with love

Rushed out to Germany again

This situation continues to baffle me, that we have a President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who needs to fly out to see his private doctors in Germany anytime he has an ailment.

Someone must be telling me that in that great oil-producing nation there is nobody nor any institution with the knowledge, expertise, equipment and location to treat our President.

The situation is so damning as it is laughable and the joke is made all the more derisive when his spokesman suggests that he had an allergic reaction – is there an adrenalin nurse in the house?

I would suppose there was someone in Nigeria to administer some palliative medicine to arrest the allergic reaction whilst he travelled 7 hours on a plane to Wiesbaden in Germany see his doctor.

The real mandate to the Ministry of Health

In fact, we see the messing around that has been happening in the Ministry of Health with the fraudulent disbursement of bonuses to staff for keeping Nigeria in a disgraceful situation.

The oversight committee in the Senate does not seem to know there is a conflict of interest in taking money for junkets from an arm of the Executive when you are in the legislature – rather than having junkets in Ghana, as if Nigeria does not have team-building and bonding facilities good enough for its representatives – they should have been working on ensuring there is at least a facility of world standard that could address medical problems of our leaders.

Again, the irony and shamelessness is really not lost on anyone when the spokesman goes on to say, “There is nothing that precludes the president from seeking healthcare abroad. Even leaders in advanced countries do that.”

We have a health emergency

I am not sure Chirac, Bush, Blair, Shroeder, Koizumi, Howard, Berlusconi, Martin or Putin (That is the G8 leadership at around 2004) have ever left their countries to seek treatment when the best in their country is at their beck and call. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that the best in Nigeria are not good enough for our President.

The spokesman however acquiesces to the feeling we all have, as he says, “I share the position that our country should be able to make travelling abroad for medicals (sic), either for the President or any other citizen, a matter of choice rather than of necessity.” He took the words out of my typing.

Then we are given the political spiel about critical challenges, access and commitment – meanwhile, Yar’Adua recuperates from Germany with love till Tuesday after a week of being away.

Do we have a health emergency? We do; the possibility of the bad luck of losing a President and Goodluck stepping in – Nigeria could not suffer worse luck – I am down on my knees with fervent supplication in sack-cloth and ashes – This should not be our lot.

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