With many questions surrounding presidential candidate Bola Tinubu’s physical and mental fitness in the last two years, one would expect the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign to have asked Tinubu’s doctors in Nigeria and abroad to release a summary medical history on Tinubu to the public. The ordinary questions are simply: is he healthy, vigorous, and fit to successfully run the country if elected? The Nigerian population of more than 200 million still doesn’t know if Tinubu is physically and mentally unfit to be president.
On video and at rallies, there have been reported public sightings of him looking psychologically dull, tripping over his foot and stumbling, crashing between two chairs upon arrival at an event, uncontrollable movements such as hand shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination, memory difficulties, sudden sleeping, and some difficulties talking properly. Again, these observations are forming psychological and medical conclusions in the minds of the public.
We wish, as is done in democracies and civilly based nations, that the medical records for Tinubu and the other contestants should have been publicly available and provided by his personal physician.
We all remember the last long absence and medical treatment in the United Kingdom by Tinubu.
In the absence of a medical report, Nigeria now has firsthand knowledge of his physical and mental state.
The observations to the media came from Hajia Najaatu Mohammed, a former APC chieftain who recently resigned from her position as director of civil society engagement in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
“I sat with him for two hours in London; when you talk of green, he will give you an answer of red. He can’t even decipher. He has very serious dementia; I believe he has Alzheimer’s because he cannot even hold a cup of tea,”
“Asiwaju that I sat with for two hours, he slept most of the time, it was Bisi Akande (former governor of Osun state, ) that I was really talking to. Most importantly he is not only physically unfit, he is mentally unfit, whether we want it or not, this is the truth,” she said.
Africa’s most populous country is Nigeria, and in a few weeks, it will hold elections on February 25, 2023, to elect the president and vice president of the nation.
Certainly, Nigerians and the world want nothing to disrupt this election as the people slowly walk to build democracy in Nigeria and strengthen the democratic system and the rule of law.
But this firsthand report from Ms. Mohammed includes the following “But when you talk of the leadership of over two hundred million people, you know that if you remove tribal sentiments, you know that he is incapable; those that will rule are those around him. This is the reality. He is mentally deranged – I said it.”
For the benefit of the country and for fairness’ sake, especially in a society with competing regional, ethnic, tribal, and religious groups as well as fairness to the contesting political parties and candidates, what is wrong with asking that, on an emergency basis, someone with youthful-looking physical and mental capacities replace him?
At the now concluded presidential primary in Abuja, Tinubu’s adjoining opponents with the closest votes were the former minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
With the clamor for the presidency to come from the south at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term, especially with the northern leaders joining in settling for a south westerner the person of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is in readiness and prepared for the context.
Again, the former Presidential Campaign Council director of civil society, Ms. Mohammed, an insider of the APC presidential organization, asserted about Osinbajo: “He’s a professor; he’s brilliant.” “For few weeks he was given to govern this country, he did a great job.”
The public should now ask why an eyewitness, like Ms. Muhammad, will not be believed when he says Tinubu lacks the ability to hold a conversation and respond to the immediate national environment in a sustained manner. She knows the inner workings and acts of the Tinubu presidential engine.
Nigeria is known for its psyche of tribal and ethnic sentiments; as such, northerners, easterners, and westerners see Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, and Tinubu as tribal champions, respectively, so Osinbajo balances it well.
When it comes to this presidential election, the Nigerian people are being put to the test like never before. The mass action organized around Obi by the youths mostly continues to thicken, and an eyewitness is now talking about a possible incapacitated man before and after election day. There is some talk about Atiku’s overseas legal cases and ill health, although it is strongly refuted and not of real public concern. What is clear is that Tinubu’s mental and physical health are becoming an issue again and again.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the present government need to act quickly, as I see a young but troubled society heading towards a presidential election with a volatile combination of unknowns, risks, conflicts, and crises. Mostly triggered by the public’s nearly unanimous belief that one of their presidential candidates, should he win, might have the inability of a president to discharge the powers and duties of the office, leaving Nigeria’s future in a state of uncertainty, I remain optimistic.