Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has said that only the President can say what “exactly is wrong with him”.
Adesina was speaking with Tribune on the possibility that Nigerians could be informed on the health status of President Buhari.
“It is only the President himself that can declare that. And when he came back from London on March 10, he said that he had never been [so] sick in his life. That is a declaration of his health status.”
Buhari had first left Nigeria for London in January 2017 to consult with specialists, and returned in March. Last Sunday, he repeated his trip to London for further consultation and treatment.
Nigerians have been awaiting news of the health of their President, who has been having recurring health problems in the last few years. With concerns for his well-being increasing, the Presidency stating that there will be no update on Buhari will likely frustrate followers.
“It is within his prerogative to do that [update people on his health status]. Nobody can do it for him. Not even the doctors treating him can do it for him. Under the Hippocratic Oath, nobody can do it except [for] the patient.
“Nobody; under the Hippocratic Oath, it says that even the doctor has no right to reveal the health status of his patient to anybody. So, it’s only Mr President that can say what exactly is wrong with him.
Last year, Buhari travelled to London to treat an ear problem. Upon returning to Nigeria, Buhari disclosed his health status – a point that Adesina picked up on.
“When he came back, he told the country that this [ear issue] was what was wrong with him. So, the prerogative is his own to disclose and if he wants to disclose, he will. But nobody should be asking him to do it. That would be an infringement on his right.”
However, many will argue that the current concern is for a potential health problem far greater than his previous ear issue. Silence, it appears, is only adding to the suspicion that Buhari’s health could be turning for the worse.
“If anybody has put himself in suspense, he’s just doing it for himself because it’s not necessary. The law does not compel a president to reveal what is wrong with him. It does not,” Adesina added.