NOBEL Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has lent his voice to the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to make public his state of health.
Soyinka, during a chat with newsmen, on Friday, in Lagos, said the ongoing speculations about the president’s health are “unnecessary”.
The demand by the professor of Comparative Literature was coming on the heels of the persistent failure of the president to appear in public since he returned from his medical trip to the United Kingdom more than a month ago.
Buhari had failed to appear at three consecutive meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), even as he failed to show up at the Juma’at service held inside the Aso Rock Villa, on Friday.
The presidency had tried to explain why he has not been making public appearances.
However, Soyinka, apparently not convinced by the explanation by the presidency, wondered why the president was hiding his state of health, noting that Buhari, as a public figure, should not continue to hide from Nigerians to avoid speculations about his health status.
“Why is the president hiding his state of health? He is supposed to understand he is public property. Me, I am still private property, that’s why I am not in Aso Rock. Once you are in Aso Rock or you occupy a similar position, you have a responsibility to come out frankly to your citizens.
“Guarding your state of health, like Donald Trump [United States president] is guarding his tax returns, is not what we expect from a Nigerian president. Let him address the nation and stop all these speculations which create unnecessary political manipulations, among other things”, he said.
The Presidency had issued a statement on Thursday, dismissing insinuations about the president’s alleged poor health, noting that there was no need for apprehension over his recovery.
Explaining why the president was absent from the FEC meeting, held on Wednesday, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that Buhari was acting upon the advice of his doctors to take things slowly.
“President Buhari himself, on his return to the country, made Nigerians aware of the state of his health while he was in London. Full recovery is sometimes a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation, as the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, intimated in his press briefing after the FEC meeting on Wednesday”, he said.