A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, has chided the presidency for seeking medical help for President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
He observed that many prominent Nigerians who traveled abroad for medical treatment rarely survived their illnesses.
He stated this while commenting on the President’s medical vacation abroad during a live political program on Channels TV.
Ogunye said that Nigeria did not lack the necessary manpower to take care of the president’s health within the country since Nigeria-trained doctors were hired overseas to perform great medical feats which implied that medical knowledge was universal.
According to him, what Nigeria lacked was the right medical infrastructure made available in adequate quantity to make the country a hot-bed for medical tourism in Africa
Qgunye lamented that most prominent Nigerians go abroad for medical treatment instead of fixing the country’s health care delivery system that was in shambles.
He pointed out that Nigerian elites who have died in the cause of seeking medical attention abroad include: Prof. Dora Akunyili, Maryam Babangida, Governor Abdulkadir Kure, Ambassador, Matthew Mbu, and many others.
Ogunye noted that Fidel Castro of Cubanever never left his country through-out his years of ill-health but rather relinquished power to his brother – Raul Castro, and remained within the country.
He said: “I have always maintained the view that medical knowledge is almost universal. Nigerians are trained here and are hired overseas to perform great medical feats.
“So, medical knowledge is universal. What is different is medical infrastructure. So, if what I have said is valid, why then can’t Nigeria get the best medical infrastructure here and then ensure that you get medical care here?
“Our people too often are dying in India now. It is not necessary. The former minister of Information, Dora Akunyili, died in India. Maryam Babangida, Ambassador Matthew Mbu, Governor Abdulkadir Kure, Aluko and so many of them died like that. Why should we go to countries with freezing temperature and say that we want to seek medical help? It is abnormal.
“If things were normal in the country, if we have succeeded in putting our acts together, the President of Nigeria ought not to be out of the shores of the country receiving medical attention.
“Field Castro was ill to such an extent that he relinquished power to his brother – Raul Castro, and never left Cuba, which is a small country of about 10 million people. We can have other examples.
“The idea that Nigerians should seek medical refuge elsewhere is disconcerting. It establishes and reinforces the fact that our health care delivery system is in shambles. And, every year we talk about equipping Aso Rock clinic with billions and billions of Naira.
“So, if we were a normal people, our president has no business going outside the country to seek medical help. It is abnormal.”