The state of Nigerian government under which we are today can be likened to that the Cuban government where Fidel Castro, after having spent about 40 years as the President of Cuba, handed over to his own younger brother, Abel Castro in the guise of administrative continuity.
Until his death in 2016, he remained the material president of Cuba while his younger brother reigned in his stead.
The present political interchange that we experience in Nigeria today might not be seen as a replica of Cuban politics but the general perception of careers of development theory that African leaders have the propensity to consolidate themselves in power until death do them part.
To mention a few, there have been so many African leaders who have chosen to remain in power until they die in power or chased out disgracefully. A few of the examples include Mobutu Seseseko, Mohammad Ghaddafi, Charles Tailor, Yahya Jammeh, Sani Abacha, Samuel Doe and so on.
Presently, we have about 25 leaders in Africa who are well above 70 years, not to mention Robert Mugabe and Paul Biya who have spent more than 30 years in power in Zimbabwe and Cameroon respectively.
President Muhammadu Buhari from all indications has proven to lack the capacity to go on as the Grand Commander In Chief and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having gone out of the country on medical ground for more than 3 times official and about 7 times unofficially. The Presidency and his kitchen cabinet, who was supposed to declare Buhari as incapacitated to govern.
This has contravened the constitutional provision as enmeshed in Chapter VI, Section 144 which stated that:
(1) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if -
(a) By a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and
(b) The declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(2) Where the medical panel certifies in the report that in its opinion the President or Vice-President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.
(3) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria:-
(a) one of whom shall be the personal physician of the holder of the office concerned; and
(b) four other medical practitioners who have, in the opinion of the President of the Senate, attained a high degree of eminence in the field of medicine relative to the nature of the examination to be conducted in accordance with the foregoing provisions.
(5) In this section, the reference to "executive council of the Federation" is a reference to the body of Ministers of the Government of the Federation, howsoever called, established by the President and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of government as the President may direct
If the president at the early stage of his first term is already facing these constitutional challenges which question his position as a leader. It will be inimically unfair to Nigerians to have such President imposed on Nigerians in 2019 where there are choices amidst 170 million healthy Nigerians.
Looking also from historical perspective, Buhari has the head of state in 1893and 1985 was not as active as he’s being projected by the media. History has it that Buhari was not the material president because he spent most of his valuable time outside the country while Lt Gen. Tunde Idiagbon acted as the substantiate president, implementing policies and enforcing decrees. This is who some Nigerians who witnessed his reign some 33 years ago do not subscribe to his second coming.
There is also the argument of his vindictiveness and vengeful disposition to attack his political enemies in his past government. An example of this is the prolonged detention of former NSA Sambo Dasuki who has been in prison since 2015 and has been refused bail despite several court ruling that he should be released. This school of thought, however, has it that Buhari will not deliver any form, of administrative mandate aside from fighting corruption throughout his first four years in office as the president; an idea that is to argue to retrogress Nigeria back to 5 years in time.
Also looking at the corruption war that President Buhari claimed to be fighting, there are indications that the war is one-sided, political and witch-hunting. More than half of the politicians who are currently facing the wrath of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC while other notoriously corrupt politicians from the camp of the president are walking free in the street and also getting juicy posts in office.
President Buhari is no stranger to proclaiming anti-corruption. His earlier incarnation as Nigeria’s Head of State in 1984-85 is remembered for his War Against Indiscipline (WAI). Then, as now, the effort was defined essentially by its preoccupation with the arrest, detention or imprisonment of mostly high level public officers accused or suspected of involvement in corrupt enrichment. In the pursuit of that objective, due process was regarded as an inconvenient obstacle, largely to be disregarded. Then, however, he had the cover of military rule. As civilian President, he is naked before politicians and process and the sight is not pretty.
Recently, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, accused the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, of corrupt practices under the nose of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Sagay insisted that corruption was very much present in all segments of the country.
He added that there is no difference in Customs since May 29, 2015. If you go to Tin Can Island, it is business as usual.
The PACAC Chairman also accused the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, of corruption under the current administration.
Sagay said despite the financial difficulties, Nigeria was going through; NDDC recently bought over 70 cars that included eight super Lexus that cost N70m each.
The Chairman said despite the purchase, NDDC’s Managing Director recently claimed that the commission lacks fund to carry out its responsibilities.
After considering every area of failures of President Buhari, one does not need to argue in the political path. It would be safe to, therefore, conclude that Buhari is medically unfit to go beyond his first term in office. One can only wish him a speedy recovery and ability to hold on till 2019 when his administration will end.