FORMER presidential aide Reno Omokri and other Nigerians have demanded the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria, following his travel to the United Kingdom on a medical trip.
The protesters, who were at Abuja House in London on Friday, asked the president to return to Nigeria and fix its healthcare system, instead of seeking medical aid in another country.
The ICIR had reported that Buhari left the country for a ‘routine medical checkup’ days before doctors in Nigeria, under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors in Nigeria (NARD), embarked on strike over unpaid emoluments and other agitations.
Omokri, who led other protesters, also said the president had sent soldiers to shoot at peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos State, on October 20, 2020.
According to Omokri, who was an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, since Buhari’s assumption of office in 2015, he had budgeted N10.2 billion for Aso Rock healthcare but had failed to build good hospitals that could treat him and other Nigerians.
“You are not building hospitals for people and you are coming here to come and enjoy the best of the health sector in a country that has law and order,” Omokri said in video footage posted on his Twitter handle.
With the Twitter hashtag #HarassBuhariOutOfLondon, some other Nigerians also joined in the calls for the president to come back to Nigeria and fix the nation’s health system.
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A Twitter user identified as Winifred Mnim, with the handle MHC @iamwinyjoe, said the president had no right to enjoy what he could not provide for the citizens of the country he governed.
That man has no right to enjoy what he can’t give his citizens!!’ Say no to Medical Tourism ! #HarassBuhariOutOfLondon
— Winifred MNIM, MCIB (@iamwinyjoe) April 2, 2021
“That man has no right to enjoy what he can’t give his citizens!!’ Say no to Medical Tourism! #HarassBuhariOutOfLondon,” the tweet read.
Another user, Godwin Uchenna, with the handle @godwin_ucee, also demanded the president’s return to Nigeria. Uchenna said there was no medical check-up or treatment beyond Nigerian doctors, hence Buhari should return home.
“What Nigerian doctors can not treat or the medical check-up that cannot be done in Nigeria does not exist…#HarassBuhariOutOfLondon Mr President Return Home. Come back and invest in your country,” Uchenna tweeted.
What Nigerian doctors can not treat or the medical check-up that cannot be done in Nigeria does not exist…#HarassBuhariOutOfLondon Mr President Return Home.
Come back and invest in your country… pic.twitter.com/IL9QRJXaIb
— Godwin Uchenna (@godwin_uchee) April 2, 2021
Nigeria has budgeted just 3.7 percent of its 2021 national budget to the health sector.
Out of the N13.58 trillion budget for the year, the government devoted only N514.8 billion to the sector (in both concurrent and capital projects sections of the budget).
The allocation, which has largely revolved around this percentage for many years, is a contravention of the 2001 Abuja Declaration, where heads of governments in Africa agreed to set aside at least 15 percent of their annual budgets to the health sector. Nigeria is a signatory to the agreement.