News Direct - The health situation of President Muhammadu Buhari has divided the northern leaders into two groups. While a group believes that the President should be patriotic enough to throw in the towel and think of the country first while another group had vowed to swim or sink with the President.
The anxiety over the health condition of the President heightened when the Senior Special Assistant, Media to the president, Malam Garba Shehu said Buhari would soon return to London to see his doctors.
However, northern leaders are beginning to be agitated over the health condition of the president as the same scenario played during the tenure of late President Umar Musa Yar’Aduawho died in office in May 2010.
Last week, the suspended former chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign and hand over to a competent person.
Jibrin said in a series of tweets via his Twitter handle that the president had failed Nigerians, and should therefore immediately leave the stage.
“So many issues are left unattended even small issues that a presidential cough can deal with are left hanging. Supporters are worried, understandably resorting to grumbling in hush voices while keeping bold faces and holding on to hope and prayers. I believe that the combination of these two factors of his age and health situation have slowed down the pace of PMB and the APC government. The incoming president will have to do some diplomatic shuttle to a few powerful officials to address whatever their fears may be,” he said.
Presidency has since kept mum over Jibrin’s comment but sources close to Nigerian NewsDirect said the North was beginning to rethink the promised support for Buhari in view of reports of his failing health that he is suffering from a certain ailment which is believed to be wearing him down.
The North is still suffering from the sudden death of Umar Musa Yar’Adua and it would be unfair to the North to risk the situation again.
It would be recalled that in January, the President transmitted a letter to the National Assembly informing them of vacation, last February, he wrote the National Assembly informing the country of his intention to extend his medical leave in the UK.
Traumatised along with Buhari’s family members, is a nation agog with rumours and social media frenzy announcing the President’s death or health situation. Painting scenario of every conceivable stripe, new websites spring up to amplify deafening rumours about the coming Armageddon in the event of the President’s death.
This, the Northerners did not take with a pinch of salt as Sule Lamido, a former governor of Jigawa state said,” leaders beware of the consequences that flow from tyrant, impunity and abuse of human dignity,” Lamido posited that if the acts of intimidation was because of his ambition, if he has been destined to be president, nobody can stop me.”
There is this growing perception in the north that the 2019 general election would be decided by “focused and development-oriented politicians.
As such, those politicians including former governors and federal law makers have been mobilising in such a way that should President Buhari decide to seek another term in office, he will run the risk of being a lone ranger.
In a chat with Nigerian NewsDirect, a former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa asked the National Assembly to guide Nigerians on the dilemma,
“The National Assembly has the greatest responsibility on this matter” Musa said
On his part, Engr Buba Galadima hinted that Buhari would run alone if he decides to throw his hat in the ring in 2019, and most politicians that have weathered many political battles in the north had started working together to regain the zone.
Former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa captured it this way, He said: “I am one of the people who held that running government is not a one-man show, but a collective responsibility. And with the current situation in the country, neither APC nor Mr President can do it alone. I said this in a letter to the President, it is not what one man can do.
“You saw the way and manner Obasanjo ran his own government, it was encouraging. He toyed with the idea of unity government while in power.
He brought PDP, his party and APP by then, gave the ministerial appointments and they worked as a team, that was why he succeeded.
But when the winner takes all, in a country like Nigeria, cannot work.”
In all of these, it shows there is apprehension in the North because they are not favoured in this democratic setting, from 1999 till date the North had not really held onto power and complete their own tenure as stipulated in the constitution.
So the fear surrounding Buhari’s health is a huge concern to the North because, they want to maintain that northern oligarchy of keeping on to power but, it seems it is eluding them.
Their divergent views as to who will be the torch bearer that will be accepted in terms of experience and having that character and strong will to galvanize together, all and sundry in the north is still not identified.
The people of Katsina, especially from Daura had clinged on to that thought that this is our own, whatever happens, this is our time and chance even when they know of the health challenges.
What really comes to mind is if the President was ready for the rigours of governance and the multiplicity of Nigeria’s problems?
Being that Nigerians are driven by greed, power and distribution of wealth, some elements in the North are not concerned about what happens to the President. But just to say this is our own.
That is why notable scholars in the north are staunch critics of the President because they are of the opinion that the north can do better with a young articulated mind.
Meanwhile, the umbrella organisation of all northern youths, Arewa Youth Forum, (AYF) has accused leaders in the region of politicising the health of the President.
Its National President, Comrade Ibrahim Gujungu said ,”we deem it necessary to affirm that all is not well with the North and most especially the region that holds political reign in the country.”
However, what is worrisome is the attitude of the politicians, especially those of the Northern extraction towards the health of Mr President.
Some Northern governors, are working to position themselves for political gains to the detriment of the ideology of the Northern Nigeria.
The bottom line of it all is that, the North should clearly, stop having the discordant tones, rather, an indepth knowledge of whom they put forward as president matters a lot to them and Nigeria, so as to erode from the mindsets of other regions that they are producing sick presidents whose lives hang in the balance two years into their administration. And they should stop maligning themselves and face political issues squarely.