A nation on sick leave

February 14, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Prince Charles Dickson


“The public does not like you to mislead or represent yourself to be something you’re not. And the other thing that the public really does like is the self-examination to say, you know, I’m not perfect. I’m just like you. They don’t ask their public officials to be perfect. They just ask them to be smart, truthful, honest, and show a modicum of good sense” – Ann Richards.


The entire nation has been in frenzy; it’s funny how one event can change a lot of permutations, Nigeria and her leaders indeed beats sane imagination…

We tend to even give out ourselves cheaply to leadership manipulation by our reactions, which are often misplaced emotional ranting. This may be rather harsh but it helps the leadership to know how best to fly their kite, where, when and how to adjust to our whims and caprices, we lose at the end either way.

I mean I am still hoping it’s a movie trailer, this dude from the Southern part of Kaduna (we like to give criminality an identity), he’s Yakubu and Andrew, someone insinuated that he’s a bit Muslim and Christian…(theft in these parts have a faith too), was sleeping and waking with over a billion in Nigerian currency equivalent. The man I gather insisted it was gifts.

Are we not sick? We have to face it that whatever side of the coin, we are in trouble, whether Mr. Buhari is sick, or his organ has or will fail, Nigeria is the story of Buhari’s health, good in places, bad in vital places, may pack up, may end up not packing up, but there are warning signs, they may be wrong (the likes of VeePee Osibanjo, Lie Muhammed and co) and we hope they are not right. Of the 36 Governors currently only 4 have not traveled out for medicals at some point or the other, some have even gone for the frivolous, while the rest have from acute asthma, intense migraine, stomach adjustment, pocket realignment, pimples, facials to irresistible stealing hands syndrome.

Tell me a Nigerian that is not sick, sick from lack of electricity, water, good roads, quality education and improved healthcare facility. These are the ones we can lay hands on, we forget the school fees, bills for unavailable utility, frustration of inadequacies which all result in abnormal blood pressure.

Sick politicians, sick followership, sick nation, but we keep moving one day at a time, we won’t die, we have a strong resolve, we believe that it cannot end just like that, while some of us patronize Mazi Kalu’s chemist, others leave their fate to Baba Tinubu’s Herbal concoction, many are sick with no choice than death. While another group just refuses to fall ill, which is scary or simply put, SICK! The rest are up there, they are sick, very, very sick, they have lost their conscience, they lie truthfully, they have turned red into blue, that is they cannot tell us in any Nigerian Language what the problem is with our beloved Buhari, so that we can properly channel our prayers.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever our wishes may be, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, cannot alter the state of facts and evidence –  John Adams. The issue is not that of a recovering President or as Femi Adesina puts it, a test-waiting President, but a sick society, a sick system, and a people that are sick. Many great leaders have been physically sick, from Abraham Lincoln, to Margaret Thatcher, Clinton was and is still sick, Ronald was, Obasanjo is diabetic and by my diagnosis once suffered manic depression from fear of Atiku, and the Adamawa ex custom chief ex-vice president, ex-presidential candidate once was ex-actly in London to repair a minor dislocation.

The fact remains that our leaders are sick, and on the president’s ill health and missing status, there is a lot still to be said. We have not heard the last and all this is because we have refused to do the right thing.


I will end my treaty with this interaction between Patient and Doctor…

Man; Doc, my girlfriend is pregnant but we always use protection and the rubber never broke. How is it possible?

Doctor; Let me tell you a story: There was once a Hunter who always carries a gun wherever he goes. He shoots and kills Lions; infant he’s killed many.

One day, he took his Umbrella instead of his gun and went out. A lion suddenly jumped in front of him. In order to scare the Lion, the Hunter used the Umbrella like a gun and aimed at the Lion mimicking a shooting sound. Suddenly the Lion fell and it died!

Man; Nonsense! Someone else must have shot the Lion.

Doctor; Very Good! You understood the story

Next patient please.


Mr. Buhari went on a medical vacation, and he’s entitled to it, he’s human, and trust me he has not claimed otherwise. However in the process leading up to the vacation, and while the vacation has lasted those that are responsible for handling the affairs of state have not behaved any too different from “lokachin” Yar’adua.

However, I am optimistic the President will return, like Nigeria he will bounce back, but as I write this, when we will bounce back, even as we pray–Only time will tell.











Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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