The arrival of President Major General Muhammad Buhari (in resp.) In London over his “routine check-up” was greeted by a #HarassBuhariOutOfLondon protest led by Reno Omokri, a Nigerian human rights activist. The protest at the Abuja House in London gathered conflicting views and opinions. While some see the protest as justified and legitimate, others see it as a political strategy, and some as a mere trick seeking attention.
The protest sets out to achieve these goals, among other things: the return of the president to Nigeria and the construction of hospitals with quality health facilities for the benefit of the citizens. With such lofty goals, the protest is truly commendable and commendable.
Allegedly, the protest is aimed at President Buhari, but other than the obvious, the protest is against the way of thinking and ‘mentality’ of Nigerians. The protest provokes the mentality of Nigerians towards their own country. Their disbelief in what is regularly called “better Nigeria,” their disbelief in every sector of Nigerian society. From the health sector, through education, security, power, science and technology, Nigerians have developed a way of thinking of disbelief, neglect and contempt for anything ‘Nigerian’.
Truth be told, Bukhari is not the first holder of political office in present-day Nigeria to seek medical help off the coast of the country. From the federal government to state and local governments, holders of political office prefer to seek medical help abroad. He then wonders, what is the essence of the establishment of different health centers by different levels of government throughout the country, if they are not patrons of the political class in our society. Undoubtedly, these health centers are not sufficiently equipped, and the facilities available are below standard.
Bearing in mind that Nigeria brought the title of World Capital of Poverty, the question that then comes to mind is what is the fate of poor and unhappy citizens? What is the fate of the millions of Nigerians living below the poverty line? How can I access health care? It is therefore inconceivable to determine the number of lives lost that could have been saved had it not been for the poor health system in the country. The government’s indifference to the country’s health sector also exposes the value it attaches to human lives.
When London police were called to Omokri, he reportedly gave a touching and thought-provoking answer: ‘Officer, has Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, ever come to Nigeria to access healthcare? Well, why should you call me when I ask my president to return to Nigeria to use our hospitals? ‘The issue is causing disgust and shame over the current troubles in Nigeria.
The question also reveals the inclination and inclination of Nigerians, from presidents to ordinary citizens, to travel abroad to the detriment of their own country. Economic impact is confusing and confusing. Traveling abroad for health services, for educational purposes, visiting tourist places during the holidays, although all this could not be condemned, neglecting one’s own educational institutions, tourist places, health centers and the like should worry every patriotic Nigerian.
Visiting tourist places, holders of political and public functions enjoy traveling to countries abroad. Dubai and other European countries have become places of relaxation during vacations and holidays. But to the detriment and decay of our tourist destinations, we are improving the economies of those countries. If as a nation we invest in our tourist destinations, they would become attractive for visiting foreign nationals.
In terms of investment, the richest Nigerians would rather invest in other economies than their own. The protest requires a turn in investing abroad rather than investing in Nigeria.
As stereotypical as the Nigerian education system, the products of institutions have become jinx breakers in educational institutions abroad. They should also be reckoned with a workforce abroad with outstanding performance. So the protest also challenges this excessive urge of Nigerian students to study abroad.
The canvas of the current regime for citizens to use and buy products made in Nigeria is deserving of merit, but it is clearly child’s play because the regime that is supposed to run the campaign contradicts its own actions. What else is expected of citizens?
The protest is therefore a call to the willing thinking and mentality of Nigerians in humiliating and diminishing the various sectors of their economy for the overall progress and development of the Nigerian state in all spheres of its national life.
- Tolulope Omole, Osun State.
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