President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, is very sick! That’s one indisputable fact.
But what ails the leader of the biggest democracy in Africa? Even those who are close to the corridors of power don’t know the nature of his sickness nor the severity.
The sickness that has shrunk our president is one of the most closely guarded secrets, leading to speculations that are not desirable for a 4th Republic which is barely 17 years (since May 29, 1999).
Democracy and elements that promote it demand openness and transparency.
Here are 4 ways the wicked rumours and ‘lies which have killed and buried’ President Buhari can be discouraged and render unnecessary:
- An immediate broadcast by the ministers of health and information, with full disclosure of the ailments and treatment regimen.
The broadcast should be on radio, television and streamed live with an earlier announcement indicating time.
The ‘script’ of the broadcast should be sent to newspapers.
The United Kingdom hospital or wherever President Muhammadu Buhari is receiving medical attention should be made known.
What’s more, we have to be told why he couldn’t receive medical attention in Nigeria.
- Thereafter, we need regular updates about the progress being made in the treatment.
All the procedures and response to treatment should be made available to Nigerians through constant media briefing.
Nothing should be held back.
- The President should address the press as soon as he’s strong enough.
He was voted in by 15.4 million Nigerians (Goodluck Jonathan had 12.8 million votes) , and they deserve to know the medical condition of the man who promised them a better country.
The interview can be brief and straight to the point.
- Those visiting, especially his family members and public servants), should show us pictures and videos with the President.
And issue brief statements about their encounters or grant interviews.
Nothing short of full disclosure is accepted in a democracy…