The issues raised in a letter to Nigeria's president by a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, continues to draw reactions.

One aspect of the letter that is factual and which requires adequate consideration by Nigerians before it is too late is the concern about the health of President Buhari. 

No one knows the nature of the strange ailment that kept him out of office for over a hundred days in 2017.

1.   Medical Vacation

The number of days President Buhari spent outside the country has been a source of worry for the former leader.

For over 100 days in 365, the President was away on medical leave in London and Dr. Obasanjo highlighted this in his letter.

He wrote: “President Buhari’s illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian.

“It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his Deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence.

“We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery”.


2.   Current State Of Buhari’s Health

No one can confidently say he knows the state of the President’s health at the moment.

Even though he appears to have recovered fully, Dr. Obasanjo wrote: “But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say.

“President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse”.

3.   The Age Factor

President Buhari has already made history as the oldest man to preside over the affairs of Nigeria.

Obasanjo left office in 2007 at the age of 70, but at the moment Buhari is 75 and the former President must have a clear idea of how it feels to be 70 and above and still be in office.

After a leader leaves office, he needs time to reflect on his service to his nation and also give advice where necessary, so says Dr. Obasanjo.

“He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country”. If Buhari rules the nation till he is almost 80 years, when will he have the time to give his wisdom and experience, considering the fact that life expectancy of Africans have continued to decline.


4.   Requirement of a 25/7 affair

“Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7,” the past leader wrote.

This statement identifies the fact that a Nigerian President will have to look for an extra one hour to add to the 24 hours in a day to cope with the task at hand.

This is only achievable without impaired health.

This is 2018 and the task ahead is strenuous. If President Buhari decides to run for presidency in 2019, he will need to campaign in almost all 36 states.

The stress that will pose on a 75-year-old man is something Baba Iyabo believes Nigerians do not deserve to endure.

5.   Buhari Deserves Rest

After President Buhari returned from London medical vacation, he was advised by his doctors to take more rest and that led to him working from home.

Considering his age, however, the amount of rest he could get if he decides to run in 2019 will reduce again and there may also arise the need for another prolonged medical vacation. 

Dr. Obasanjo understands this fact as he wrote: “I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age.

“I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service”. 

Read Full Text Of Dr. Obasanjo's Statement

Finally, the former President noted "President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward".