President Buhari is a Private citizen; The Cluelessness of some Political Appointees

On Tuesday 08th August, 2017, a presidential aide (Lauretta Onochie) came forth and condemned Nigerians for demanding more details regarding the President's unfortunate circumstance. See her comments here.

Here a a few things to note from her comments:

- She claims it is insulting and outrageous to ask questions regarding the President's health status.

- Onochie believes this can only happen in Nigeria.

- Buhari has Private Rights.

First of all, Nigerians are concerned about the dark cloud lingering over the president and the true nature of his health and naturally, questions are expected from friends and foe alike. Also, it is important to point out that Buhari's continuous stay abroad is at the taxpayer's expense and not his "private" pocket like any other private citizen and as a result, concerned Nigerians are keen on finding out just what a tangible chunk of the country's foreign reserve is being spent on.

Whilst making the comments that took the country by surprise, Onochie made references to the United Kingdom where she allegedly comes from and claims such practices are unlikely. I would like to quickly refer her to less than two years ago when David Cameron resigned from his position as Prime minister simply because the country had voted to leave the EU which he was in support of staying. Is an act like this obtainable in Nigeria? Nigerians are not necessarily demanding to know the exact details of the president's health challenges but to know whether he can still perform the duties he was elected for.

In addition, Vanguard and other Nigerian media recently disclosed that it currently costs around 4,000.00 daily to keep the Presidential Jet parked at its current location in a British airport and seeing that it has been parked there for over 90 days, that's already over 360,000.00. Although the presidency has refuted this claim on the basis that planes carrying heads of states are usually exempt from such charges, they are also expecting that the fees would be around 1000 daily if the waiver is not granted.

On the basis of the points detailed above, here are a few questions for Special Assistant Lauretta Onochie and any other Nigerian who is of the opinion that our President is "currently more of a private citizen" and believes Nigerians should stay mute on the subject.

- How many Private Citizens have had a Presidential Jet parked in a London Airport for more than 90 days running?

- How many Private Citizens have racked up over 360,000.00 (over #150,000,000.00 Naira) in airplane parking fees?

- Has the President stopped being accountable to the people?

- Is it wrong for taxpayers to demand answers regarding how their money is spent?

- Which private citizen has a presidential suite at Abuja house in London?

The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the commander in chief of the armed forces not of the people. Where civilians are concerned, the President is a public servant accountable to taxpayers and the general electorate.

President Muhammadu Buhari swore an oath and made a promise to Nigerians to uphold the laws of the land and perform the duties expected of a President to the best of his abilities and although many may argue he is not currently breaking any laws in his current situation, others may also point out that since his illness is preventing him from fulfilling that oath and the associated promises, a permanent transfer of power to the current Acting President may be the right move to make.

Regardless of what action the President takes, it is important for his aides such as Lauretta Onochhie to be sensitive to the plight and demands of Nigerians because at the end of the day, our dear President is answerable to the people.