SaharaReporters in December 2020 had reported the inability of President Buhari to make critical decisions on insecurity and the depressed economy
President Muhammadu Buhari’s undisclosed health challenges are taking their toll on his ability to perform his duties as he goes off duty at 5pm daily, a presidential source told SaharaReporters.
According to the source, urgent national issues that can benefit the county are left unattended to by the President the moment it is 5pm Nigerian time and postponed till the following day.
“The President is tired, it’s no more news that he has dementia, a mental sickness that causes memory loss and impaired judgment.
“Currently, he won’t attend to files till 10am and the moment it’s 5pm, he goes off duty. Even if Nigeria is on fire, he won’t make any decision. Nobody can see him again except members of the (Presidency) cabal and close family members. This is seriously affecting his handling of national matters.
“We were here when Goodluck Jonathan was President; he would work till 11pm daily,” the source told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters in December 2020 had reported how the inability of President Buhari to make critical decisions on insecurity and the depressed economy had become worrisome to many Nigerians – a situation which his dementia and other undisclosed illnesses he is treating could have contributed to.
It had been reported that his medical conditions had forced him to jet out of the country at least seven documented times for treatment, spending about 200 days since 2015 when he assumed office in his first term.
On February 5 to 10, 2016, Buhari took a six-day vacation in the United Kingdom, saying that his doctors lived in England.
Between June 6 and 19, 2016, Buhari went on a 10-day medical trip to England for an ear infection surgery. He extended his trip by three days to rest.
On January 19, 2017, the President was back to London again on a medical vacation.
On February 5, 2017, he wrote to the National Assembly, seeking an extension of his London medical leave.
Later on March 10, 2017, Buhari returned to Nigeria but didn't resume work immediately at Aso Villa. The presidency had claimed that "he was working from home."
On May 7, 2017, Buhari embarked on a trip to London for another medical vacation. He returned after 104 days – the longest he had stayed outside the country. He returned to Nigeria on August 19, 2017, and he took time to resume work because his handlers said rats had reportedly damaged furniture in his office.
On May 8, 2018, Buhari went to London for a four-day "medical review."
On April 26, 2019, Buhari again left for the UK on a 10-day private visit to seek medical care. He came back to the country on May 5.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from travelling abroad for medical treatment in 2020.
Then on March 30, 2021, The President and members of his immediate family left for UK on a two-week medical treatment
The fallout is that apart from being unable to attend to urgent national issues and take significant decisions for the country, the President is perceived also not to be in charge of his government.
This has been evident with several conflicting actions and rancour within his government.
Buhari is 78 years old, which is why some Nigerians have argued that old people should no longer be allowed to take key leadership positions.
Also in same December 2020, contrary to claims by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari’s demenia prevented him from visiting the scene of the abduction of over 300 school boys from Kankara town in Katsina State, his home state.
A source had stated that the President’s dementia affected him and made him to visit his livestock farm on Saturday morning instead of visiting the school.
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language and thinking abilities – a condition which may be caused by the President’s old age or an undisclosed medical condition.
“The moment it happened on Friday night, President Buhari was told. But due to dementia, he had forgotten,” the source had said about why Buhari did not visit the school.
When the video of the President visiting his farm surfaced the following Monday, the President’s spokesperson, Shehu, had argued vehemently that the President was not aware as of Saturday morning when he went to his farm.