I feel disturbed that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was back to the United Kingdom (UK) hospital for tooth ache after the sum of N393,661,239 was spent on the Presidential Wing of the State House Medical Centre at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja in 2023
By Valentine Amanze
In December 2022, I experienced tooth ache – a severe one that lingered until a herbal solution came. Not that there were no dental clinics or I couldn’t afford their services; but the circumstances of time forced me to patronize a herbal expert.
Today, I have no regrates getting treated with local herbs at a low cost at a time world leaders are looking inward for the solution to their problems.
In Nigeria, the case is different. Our leaders are jeting out at any slitest opportunity to seek for medication abroad with tax payers’ money.
They are also rewarded with traveling allowances for frivalously spending the public funds abroad.
When Fidel Castro, the late Cuban leader, was sick, he never allowed his subordinates to fly him out for medication.
The same was the case of a great African icon, freedom fighter and South African former president, Mr. Nelson Mandela. Both leaders were treated at home whenever they were sick until they died.
For their insistense of receiving medication at home, they saved money which would have been spent on security and medication in foreign currency abroad.
They knew that they were safer in the hands of their people at home than the foreign experts, whom they were not sure who they were working for.
Both leaders invested heavily in their health sector, which produced some of the best medical experts and facilities worldover.
Today Cuban doctors are rated among the best in the world.
I feel disturbed that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was back to the United Kingdom (UK) hospital for tooth ache after the sum of N393,661,239 was spent on the Presidential Wing of the State House Medical Centre at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja in 2023, prompting to ask: Is there no good dentist in Abuja?
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At the inception of his administration in 2015, president Buhari spent a fortune treating ear infection in the same UK at the expense of tax payers.
He is more or less known as a medical tourist in Uk than as Nigeria’s president.
Over the years, billions of naira had been allocated for the construction and equipping of the presidential clinic in the State House; yet, in 2017, the Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, berated the management of the State House Clinic as she lamented that on her visit to the hospital, there was no single syringe.
Similarly, President Buhari’s daughter, Zahra, reportedly made the same observation on her Instagram handle, when she called out the Permanent Secretary of the State House Clinic, Jalal Arabi, for not being able to provide ‘ordinary paracetamol’ in the clinic even though N331.7 million was allocated to the State House Clinic in that year’s budget.
What we have not been told is that President Buhari does not trust Nigerian doctors or the efficacy of drugs in the country.
The president had the opportunity to make Nigeria’s medical sector a worldclass considering his health status when he became president; instead, he chose being a medical tourist.
It is a common knowledge that whatever goes up must come down. The eight tortuous years of his administration would end in May 29, 2023.
It is no longer news that Saudi Arabia, UAE, Canada, U.S and some European nations are regulaly recruiting Nigeria’s medical personel to provide services to their citizens, while the Nigerian government looks the other way.
If the president’s attitude Nigerians is germane, how would one explain the heavy expenditure on the Aso Rock clinic yet he jetted outside the country for tooth ache despite promise to stop government officials from having their medication abroad.
It is unfortunate tha our democracy lacks accountability otherwise Buhari would have by now be digging deep to present to Nigerians how much they spent on his medical tourism in Europe.
I hope the in-coming government will not join the bandwagon.
God bless Nigeria.