A British politician and former military officer, Eric Stuart Joyce, has again stirred up controversy over the health of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Joyce, who insisted that Buhari is dead , has now challenged the Nigerian President to prove otherwise.
Writing on his website, he said: “Nigeria has an extremely capable acting president, of course, but if Mr Buhari is declared dead or permanently incapacitated then it will be the second time in succession that a Northern Muslim president has died and been replaced by his Southern Christian deputy. This is a challenge in a country whose democracy is based upon a complex balance of different regional and religious interests.
“However, it is a challenge Nigeria is most certainly up to given the great success which was the peaceful handing over of power after the last election.
“And so, a top tip for Nigerians. Insist that, like most democracies, it is a strict requirement of being president that your people know exactly what your physical condition is at all times. This practice is not historically confined to democracies, of course. Kings of old were routinely watched in their bedchambers; Queens were watched as they gave birth to heirs. This was all to ensure that things were as they seemed. Requiring a president to show he is capable of running his country, and is definitely not dead, is a simple and practical extension of this.
“For now, with no sight nor sound of the president and no proof even of life for some time, it seems that in a bid to manage the succession the presidency may be lying to the public about the presidents health or even life, and making Nigeria’s democratic status a mockery into the bargain.
The Nigerian media seems to be unconcerned about all of this; unconcerned that he may be dead; unconcerned that if he is alive then he may be too ill to carry on. In the absence of serious newspaper and TV media, then, it is left to social media to do the job. So here we are.
“We recommend that every Nigerian check their own wardrobes for Mr Buhari, and perhaps ask their children if they have any ideas. If you do this, you will have looked harder for him than the Nigerian media.”