By Deji Shodeinde
President Buhari has failed to prove critics wrong over claims that his health is failing and therefore may not be able to perform effectively if he’s reelected in this year’s presidential election.
Buhari May Lose 2019 Election
It’s still widely suggested among Nigerians that the president lacks the stamina to run the most populous nation in the continent for the next four years.
The president has recently directed Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC and former governor of Lagos state to fully take charge of the party’s presidential campaign.
The development, the opposition says, confirms the suggestions that all is not yet well with the president who has spent a better part of his four year presidential tenure in an undisclosed United Kingdom hospital, seeking treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
It’s now obvious that President Buhari cannot withstand the rigor of campaigns, not the least attend to very difficult state matters in the next four years if re-elected as president and commander in chief, his opponents say.
The controversy over the president’s health is coming on the verge of Eurasia Group, a New York based organization that President Buhari will likely lose presidential election less than 40 days to the election.
Recall that The Economist magazine, a united state based newsmagazine had last October predicted that the candidate of the ruling APC will lose the 2019 presidential election to his opponent in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
According to Euasia, Nigerians will be making informed choices based on many factors, including whether to vote for an ailing president or his opponent who has no bad health records.
According to the US based body, President Buhari’s government has made progress in areas such as “tax reform and restructuring of the energy sector” but that Nigerians are deeply worried that the president will again spend the next four years, finding solutions to his unknown health problems, if elected.
The advisory body further said Buhari will remain a lame duck to presidential aides who will capitalize on the president’s ailment to seize power through the bank door.
Buhari’s wife, Aisha has complained stringently that his husband is not in control of his government, that some powerful individuals in the presidency have been wielding presidential powers.
But the president has denied the allegation in last December interview with voice of America, VOA.
Euasia said the situation will even get worse in Buhari’s second presidency.
“And if Buhari’s health problems continue” Euasia said” the situation will get worse. The president’s continual medical leaves abroad impaired governance in his first term.
A repetition would again remove him from decision making and the public eye for months at a time, leaving investors to wonder who is calling the shots and whether they are qualified for the job,”it said.
The president’s state of health will also increase tension in his party, the group said, adding that the future of the ruling APC remain uncertain in the hands of an ailing president who has obviously lost totally the control of his party.
The internal wrangling among opposing forces in APC in the last three years has tested the president’s position as the Leader of the party.
The outcome of the primary elections conducted by the party last year has further exposed the deep seated animosity among APC leaders. This has led to suggestions that president Buhari has no capacity to keep the party knitted together.
APC future is bleak, Euasia said as the Buhari second presidency will open “floodgates for political infighting, increasing the chances that his ruling All Progressives Congress implodes.”
Meanwhile, whether Tinubu will be able to advance the cause of APC by delivering this year’s presidential election to Buhari is another ball game all together, critics of the president said.
The former Lagos helmsman is a political strategists, many believe can bring his experience to bear to defeat the main opposition party, PDP.
But that in itself is a big challenge to the goggled politician whose interests has pitted him against other party leaders and presidency officials.
Those that may feel aggrieved that the party machinery has been handed over to Tinubu at their own expense may refuse to answer or work with him. This may end up putting the party’s overall interest in total jeopardy, critics have warned.
Army, Police Others Will Not Take Order From Tinubu
Also while handing the presidential campaign to the ex-Lagos governor, may, to one of his supporters, who spoke to the magazine in confidence meant that “the apparatus of state has been handled over to Tinubu to win the election no matter what,” this can send a wrong signal to the opposition that the presidency is planning to use state security to rig the election in its favor.
But whether security agencies will answer to Tinubu who is not the commander in chief is another issue entirely.
A top army officer who spoke with the magazine said this is not possible because “the army, police or other sister agency will not take order from a politician” and that the position of the military in the up-coming election is to remain neutral.
APC Governors Oppose Tinubu
Besides, no fewer than three state governors in the south west, Tinubu’s domain are up in arms against him over political differences. The governors are Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo states.
Not left out in the political onslaught against Tinubu is also the governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha who has lately vowed to work against the interest of the party in this years’ February election.
The states are critical to President Buhari’s re-election.