President of Nigeria Returns to Power After Prolonged Absence
Former cabinet members who attended the impromptu religious service in the city of Abuja took time to praise the performance of Vice President Osinbajo, who has spent more time in active power this year than the elderly President Buhari. Despite the joy and worship demonstrated among supporters of the Nigerian President, members of the opposition bloc have questioned the lack of transparency shown by government officials who demand to know diagnosis and treatment information. In Abuja, Lagos, and other major metropolitan centers, rumors about the health of President Buhari circulate furiously, and his ability to lead Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa, has been questioned.
The hurried return of the President only helped to stoke the rumor fires. Although he was smiling and able to exit the Presidential airplane without assistance, he looked frail and has not shown improvement since his first medical journey to London in 2016; at that time, he claimed that a pesky ear infection prompted him to seek medical care abroad, a claim that was received with widespread ridicule and launched many memes across online social networks, which are becoming the information platform of choice for many Nigerians. President Buhari is scheduled to address the public on Monday morning. Political analysts fear that speculation about the leader’s health issues could disrupt stability in the country. On Sunday night, talk radio stations in Lagos were speculating that the President is probably afflicted by prostate cancer.
It is important to note that President Buhari’s Islamic faith has been crucial to keeping the peace in the turbulent northeast region of Nigeria, which is besieged by extreme poverty and Boko Haram, a radical insurgent organization that resorts to terror and violence while claiming allegiance to ISIS. By contrast, the Vice President is a Christian from the prosperous southern region; nevertheless, both leaders have been able to spread a message of peace and unity around the country.