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As Buhari jets out again, HURIWA says why Nigeria needs healthy leader in 2023

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President Muhammadu Buhari travelled to London, United Kingdom, yesterday, for a routine emergency check-up.

The trip, however, did not fail to catch the attention of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), which condemned the “vexatious” mission, coming against the backdrop of “the deplorable and collapsed state of the public health care system in Nigeria since the current government began in 2015.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had disclosed scant details about the latest travel on his personal Twitter handle. No prior information was provided to indicate that the trip had been planned, as Buhari, early in the day, presided over an emergency National Security Council meeting at the State House, Abuja.

In a statement by National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said: “Before he got elected, during the campaign, the then All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate made a very heavy weather of “his resolve” to end medical tourism in Nigeria, which he said was costing the country so much needed foreign exchange. He also criticised medical tourism abroad by politicians.

“But since coming on board, the few healthcare facilities that were put in place by previous governments, even the Federal Medical Centres that were hitherto functioning optimally, have all become moribund, largely due to mismanagement of funds for public healthcare by officials at various levels.

“The health care system has also witnessed several industrial actions and strikes by medical staff and non-medical staff. Yet, President Buhari has spent over 200 hundred days on a foreign medical trip with our money.”

HURIWA added: “The most significant lesson Nigerians should learn from Buhari’s medical travels, which are obviously unending and massively capital intensive, is to never again elect someone who is medically unfit to govern.

“Nigerians must have it at the back of their minds before casting their votes, with few weeks to the end of his first term in office, Buhari has spent a total of 404 days (a year and 39 days) travelling to 33 countries on four continents in about four years of his first term in office, as captured by a media report recently.

“Most of these travels are said to be coded medical tours costing Nigeria so much in foreign exchange.”