The Presidency seems not taking claims of President Buhari’s incapacitation lying low, seeking not only to disprove the claim but also to dampen incipient agitation for the president to seek medical attention. The president’s engagements went up sharply yesterday, stretching from meetings with Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC). The high profile news treatment for such meetings might have been intended to counter suggestions of incapacitation.
Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife reached out too, tweeting that the president’s health could not be as bad as is being perceived. She was deploying her credibility as a source on matters concerning the president, converting the moral high ground and credibility she earned in public perception when she took a shot at cabalistic encroachment on power last year.
The current phase of claims and counter-claims was triggered with Sahara Reporters publishing its story that the president’s health had deteriorated, linking his dwindling public appearances to that. Either on that basis or some other information, a group of civil society operatives advised the president to go take medical care of himself. That was Monday. On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017, Ebunola Adegboruwa, the Lagos lawyer who issued a statement in January to the effect that President Buhari is sick and had his job taken over by a cabal came up again. He called on the Senate to declare the Office of the president vacant and swear-in the Vice-President as acting president, claiming to know personally that the president is unwell.
Adegboruwa disagreed with the civil society actors, wondering how they knew that the president is sick as for them to have advised him to seek medical attention. In that, he left a gap because the same question of how he knew the president is unwell could be raised against his own claims.
The real fear in some quarters about the claims and counter claims is the risk of stressing up the president by making him to take more than he probably should in his present situation, just to prove that the president is not too unwell. He himself had said upon his return from the UK recently that he had never been this sick and that he was returning to London in due course. The second concern is if a really unfortunate situation is not becoming over-politicised.