My prayer for Nigeria is that President Muhammadu Buhari will not contest another presidential election in 2019. I hope when the time comes, he will do the noblest thing: Thank Nigerians for giving him a chance to serve, allow the transition process to run smoothly without his interference, and walk away with his head high.
That will be the best thing for Nigeria, and one hopes he has enough of the acclaimed Mandela spirit in him to know when to walk away from the gambling table. Nigeria is doing poorly under his watch and we cannot continue this way until 2023. We cannot be munching the same old issues on our weakened gums every election cycle.
If Buhari decides to contest in 2019, we will waste about half of the electioneering time on enervating debates about his health; arguing whether he has the physical and mental capability to continue the taxing job of leading Nigeria or not. His detractors and his followers will have a lot of material to chew on for many such specious debates, none of which will improve our lot.
There will be much talk about Buhari’s disposition: how he not only failed to stop medical tourism as he promised but has probably spent the highest sum of public money ever on his health. This year, he has spent almost six months abroad treating an unknown ailment, and there is no guarantee he will not travel again before his tenure expires.
His foreign trips have cost Nigeria tons of naira, and knowing how prohibitive medical costs in Britain can be for a non-citizen, Buhari has probably cost Nigeria higher than the budgetary allocation to the entire health sector in Nigeria.
And the man is not humble enough even to be grateful to Nigerians whose sweat and blood pay for these luxuries.