How Buhari’s absence is fueling intrigues in the Nigerian political space - Report

How Buhari’s absence is fueling intrigues in the Nigerian political space - Report

- Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is normally expected to take over if something happens to the president; but this is still in doubt due to the volatile political situation

- The APC national leader Bola Tinubu had to step in and quell rumors of a coup allegedly being planned by some military officers and politicians

- President Buhari’s support is also waning due to the failing economy and corruption allegations against his own appointees

The continued absence of President Muhammadu Buhari due to an undisclosed illness is causing great ripples in Nigeria's already tense political space, the UK Guardian reports.

A recent report by the media house details how ongoing political developments may be putting the nation in grave risk of danger.

According to the report, the prolonged illness is reminiscent of what happened during the Umaru Musa Yar'Adua administration when the former president took ill for months and then finally died in 2010.

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Just like Buhari’s current predicament, the nature of Yar’Adua’s illness was not disclosed for several months as the government kept mum about the situation.

If anything happens to Buhari, he is normally expected to be replaced by acting president Yemi Osinbajo, but this might present a great problem as Osinbajo is a Christian from the south-west.

With Buhari being a Muslim from the northern part of Nigeria, there are high expectations from that region, to see out their time in office.

According to the report by Emmanuel Akinwotu and Ruth Maclean, “Presidential candidates are expected to alternate between northern and southern leaders, a key destabilising factor in Nigeria’s politics, which is often dominated by regions, ethnicity and religion.

“Should Buhari be unable to finish his term, his popular vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, a Christian from the south-west, would be constitutionally mandated to succeed him.

“Yet that would only be the starting gun for political tussles.”

There has also been talks about a coup.

Military officers were rumored to be conniving with certain politicians, scheming to take power away from the Buhari-Osinbajo team.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu, had to prevail on the military to prevent any coup attempt.

Also adding fuel to the fire was a recently released audio message from the president, commemorating with Muslims during the Sallah celebration.

In the audio message, the president conveyed his message in Hausa with a ‘noticeably weak’ voice leading to questions about just how ill Buhari is.

With the economy still floundering due to an ailing economy compounded by a fall in oil prices and also allegations of corruption against the president’s minister, the report notes that support seems to be waning for the still absent president.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that a report detailed how President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical vacation in the UK is affecting Nigeria’s politics.

According to the report, the president’s absence has created suspicion in the polity and alters political calculations especially as 2019 approaches.

Opposition politicians and those who are not in tune with Buhari’s style of governance picked holes in the “abrupt” manner the ‘journey’ was announced and executed.

Watch this TV video asking Nigerians if they would donate a kidney to save Buhari's life if needed:


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