By Obinna Chukwuezie
“Ear dey pain Baba Buhari.” That was a common item of conversation among traders in Kado Fish Market in Abuja, when I went to buy Fish to to prepare Ogbono soup yesterday. “Of all other organs, why should it be in the ear that the President would have infection?” an elderly trader asked. She got no response as her co-traders punctuated the air with empty gestures.
Just last weekend, the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, announced that the President would be proceeding on a 10-day leave in London, wherein “he will see an E.N.T. specialist for a persistent ear infection.” Adesina explained that “the president was examined by his Personal Physician and an E.N.T. Specialist in Abuja and was treated. Both Nigerian doctors recommended further evaluation purely as a precaution.”
This was the first time since I became an adult that a Nigerian President admitted openly that he has an ear infection. Others behaved as they never had one, even when it was obvious that their hearing was impaired.
I had expected President Buhari’s ear infection long before now, especially in his first year in office – an infection in one of his ears in his first year, while infection in the other ear in the second year.
Not that I cherish a situation where the President can no longer hear with his ears, but the magnitude and dimension of what the President hears per second (social media alone) is enough to predispose him to ear infections and itching. On daily basis, several uncomplimentary remarks outside Nigeria continue to buffet the President’s eardrums, like the “fantastically corrupt” statement made by the British Prime Minister David Cameron; Donald Trump’s remarks, President Mugabe’s remarks among others.
Within Nigeria, the remarks are unprintable and unheard of. When Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan confessed that the he was the most-criticized President in the world; he never knew that the criticism against him was like primary school edition. In just a year, president Buhari has dwarfed that record. President Buhari is in London now, and coincidentally, President Jonathan is in London, and this affords them the opportunity to compare hearing notes.
The president’s ears have heard strange things. Addressing the Nigerian Community in Saudi Arabia in February, President Buhari said “never had I heard” the words ‘budget padding’ throughout his 73 years on earth, until he became the President of Nigeria. I think that the President’s ear needs cleansing and all the processes that could get them immune to infection.
Again, as the number of hungry people in Nigeria continues to rise, so also the outcry of pain and anguish continues rise. Due to the pains and difficulties that most Nigerians are facing, Buhari’s government has been given all sorts of name, including being a scam.
“As a government that was propelled into office by the power of the people, we cannot but feel the pains of our compatriots, and we deeply empathise with them. We are working round the clock to ease the pains of Nigerians,” President Buhari said at the Vanguard personality Award ceremony in Lagos where he was jointly honoured with his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as the Personality of the Year Award, 2015.
Until the pains of Nigerians are eased, the President’s eardrums will not rest. It is in our best interest that the President hears, and hears all that is being said too. The ear is a vital organ in the body and hearing is not something anyone would want to lose.
The good news here is that the President’s ear infections have cure, so it is likely that we would not have a deaf and dumb President. I wish the President quick recovery as he undergoes treatment. I do not like the President to suffer any infection again, not even ear infection which can be very painful and discomforting.
He who has ear, let him HEAR.
Chukwuezie is a Community Stories Blogger and Writer. He is a CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards Nominee.Twitter: @obinnachukwuzie