A FORMER Senator who represented Kaduna Central in the Eight National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of abandoning Nigerian hospitals with their challenges and opting to seek care for his medical problems from the beginning of his administration till the end in the United Kingdom (UK).
In a tweet on Wednesday, May 10, the politician, activist and writer said, “The President’s tenure began with the ear treatment in London, and it’s ending with the tooth treatment in London. He is leaving behind a history of billions spent on the Villa Clinic, strikes by health workers, impending strikes by resident doctors and an exodus of health professionals.”
Sani reacted to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, around midnight of Tuesday, May 9, where he said the President would spend an additional week in London to treat his tooth.
The ICIR reported how Buhari travelled to London on May 3 to attend King Charles’ coronation.
In his Tuesday statement, Adesina said, “President Muhammadu Buhari will be in London, United Kingdom, for an additional week, at the behest of his dentist, who has started attending to him.
“The specialist requires to see the President in another five days for a procedure already commenced.”
The ICIR reports that true to Sani’s claims, the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) recently threatened to strike next week over unmet demands, including the poor state of Nigerian hospitals.
In 2018, The ICIR reported how President Buhari beat former President Umar Yar’Adua’s medical tourism record after spending 172 days outside Nigeria to attend to his health in the UK.
Many Nigerians and the World Health Organization are already scared over the brain drain of health professionals in Nigeria, arising from poor pay, insecurity and poor health infrastructures.
In one of its many reports on the brain drain, The ICIR revealed in 2021 how 9,000 doctors left Nigeria for the UK and other countries in two years.
The State House Clinic, which officials like Buhari could use, has also not been very functional.
In 2017, Buhari’s wife, Aisha, decried the poor state of the clinic, despite gulping billions in annual budgets.
Speaking with The ICIR Wednesday morning, the President of Nigeria Dental Association, Adeyemi Tope, a doctor, said treating a tooth problem could require an emergency that would make the President remain in the UK.
“There are dental emergencies that can occur to an individual. Depending on where that emergency occurs and where the person is, it may be best to seek the nearest dental care.
“This is because toothache is likely to be worse than the pain women experience when giving birth. Imagine he has an emergency toothache over there in London; it may not be fair for us Nigerian dentists to say that he should wait until he returns because we want to treat him.”
The ICIR reports that President Buhari will return to Nigeria few days to the end of his government, on May 29.
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