Outgoing Nigerian First Lady Aisha Buhari on Friday in Abuja stated that the newly inaugurated N21bn Presidential Wing of the State House Medical Centre will end the need for future presidents and their family members seeking medical treatment abroad.
Aisha disclosed this as she joined the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and other dignitaries for the commissioning ceremony of the facility situated in the premises of Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She revealed that she first nurtured the idea of a Presidential Wing in 2017 after her husband’s extended stay in London for medical treatment.
In May 2017, various media platforms widely reported how the president departed to London for a medical pilgrimage lasting 104 days; his longest since assuming office.
With the facility ready for use, the outgoing First Lady said Nigerian Presidents and their family members may only fly medical experts over to Abuja to assist their colleagues, rather than going on expensive trips.
“I’m quite happy, feeling fulfilled. Though we are leaving but all the same, we thank God the project has come to reality.
“I have opted for it six years now. I initiated this project six years ago when my husband spent three months abroad, consecutively, 90 days.
“And it shouldn’t be because we have all the experts in Nigeria. We only need a good platform.
“The hospital that is supposed to serve the First Family is serving like 35,000 people which is quite much.
“That’s why I insisted we should have a VIP Wing within the proximity of the presidential villa.”
On whether the medical centre will now make it unnecessary for Nigerian leaders to receive treatment abroad, she responded, “Yes! This one is for the health and wellness of the First Family.
“They don’t need to go abroad now. They only need to maybe fly in experts to help our people. You know.
“So, no need for any leader to spend months and months abroad because of health care.”
Much as the First Lady's stated position appears valid, however, there are several aspects of her position where things are not adding up.
For example, this coming from the First Lady whose husband epitomized abroad medical pilgrimages throughout his administration, despite his initial posturing to the contrary, leaves a sour taste.
Indeed, the time is right for lawmakers to legislate against state actors who make public statements that are both contradictory and annoying, to say the least.
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