Femi Adesina, the Special Assistant to
President Muhammadu Buhari, and Bolaji Abdullahi, the Spokesman of the
All Progressives Congress, APC, have revealed that there was never a
time during the 2015 Presidential campaign, that Buhari promised not to
embark on medical tourism abroad.
Both men were guests at Thursday’s edition of ‘Focus Nigeria’, on AIT, which was closely monitored by Post-Nigeria.
Abdullahi, who once worked as a Deputy
Director in Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Team, said that it was “one
gentleman”, who came up with a list containing 100 promises that Buhari
was supposed to keep, if he emerged as President.
“I was the Deputy Director of the Policy
Directorate of the Campaign, I was there from the beginning to the
end”, Abdullahi said.
“So many people came to join the group,
some from even outside the country. Then one day, we were in a meeting,
then one gentleman who heads one of the international NGOs in the
country, brought this list of 100 items that he was proposing that we
should push out as the promise of Mr. President to Nigerians.
“We circulated and
asked everyone to study it and come back the following day, so that we
look at which ones we can own, and which ones we need to reject.
“I recall that Number 1 on that list,
was to make the President say that, ‘when I become President, I will not
travel abroad for medical treatment’.
“And I remember we rejected that
immediately, because we said we did not know what this man was dealing
with, we did not know who his Doctors had been, how could we say this
“But do you know what happened? One of us in the group just released the document.”
Contributing to the discussion, Adesina
said he could confirm the incident, because he had raised the issue with
Buhari, when he first read it.
“I can confirm that even the President himself, who was a candidate then, was not aware”, Adesina said.
very week I resumed this assignment, I raised some things with the
President. I said this and this and this were promised, and the
President said, ‘when did I promise these things?’
“I said there is a document titled ‘100
things Buhari will do in 100 days’. He never knew about that document.
He had to ask people to fetch that document for him, and it was the
first time he was seeing it.
“So there were promises that people made during the campaign on his behalf.”
Adesina agreed that a serious government
should be able to provide adequate healthcare for its citizenry, but
added that at present, the Nigerian government cannot afford it.
He blamed previous governments for not
doing anything with the nation’s resources, when crude oil sold for more
than $100 per barrel.
“There was a time we could have afforded it, but the money was not properly spent”, he said.
“That is why the President keeps
lamenting that for a certain number of years consistently, oil prices
stood at $100 per barrel, going as high as $120 per barrel at a time,
and we were producing about 2.1 million barrels daily.
“Then when he [Buhari] came, oil prices
plunged to $37 per barrel, so he called the Central Bank Governor and
said, ‘do we have savings?’ and the Governor said ‘no savings’.
“The question is, ‘what did they do with that money? Why did not they fix our Hospitals in all those years that we had boom?’
“And you know that since 2015, things
have been down, and they are just looking up now. As things look up, if
they ever get back to where we were, if we ever get back to $100 per
barrel for oil under the Buhari administration, it is doubtful; but if
we ever get there, you can be sure that a lot will get done, because
this is a prudent administration and the money of Nigerians will be used
to serve Nigerians.”