A couple of days ago, the controversial governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, transcended to the realm of notoriety. He placed an expensive wrap around political advertisement in two national dailies in which he sought to draw attention to the “poor” state of health of foremost presidential challenger, APC’s General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). He vividly captured history via images of past leaders who were either killed or died in office as a result of debilitating health.
In his jaundiced view, clearly lacking in any science or spiritual logic, advanced age signposts deteriorating health. He started his chronicle of deaths ignorantly with late General Murtala Muhammad, acknowledged nationwide as an authentic national hero.The late head of state was coldly assassinated on February 13, 1976, exactly 39 years ago. From that first gaffe, it became manifestly clear that the intent of the advertiser was to wish death on Buhari who, at 72,has demonstrated remarkable strength and energy and displays no signs of slowing down. This is attestedto by the grueling campaign which he is undertaking ahead of the rapidly approaching national polls.
We dare say that the ill advised advert was the icing on the cake of weeks of running down the APC contender’s bid for Aso Rock. At various times, Buhari’s health has been minutely scrutinized and innuendos made. Currently, a jittery ruling PDP, has been running from pillar to post to discredit Buhari’s WASCE result. The party’s presidential campaign spokesman, Femi Fani Kayode, has left no stone unturned to similarly rewrite the 53 year old history of Buhari’s secondary school education.
This and coupled with Fayose’ disdainful advert, led us to conclude that it was a well-orchestrated plot to poison the minds of the undecided in the coming polls. By wishing Buhari dead, they were hopeful that would succeed in swaying the votes of the undecided.
Fayose’s remorseless belligerence in the face of the rounded condemnation of the advert only succeeded in garnering more sympathy for the opposition candidate. Still, the unapologetic Ekiti state chief executive has remained unrepentant. It is instructive to note that even the Presidential Campaign Committee of the PDP has disowned him and distance itself from the advertorial. Having said this, we wish to educate Fayose and his ilk. General Aguiyi Ironsi was the first head of state to die in office. Like Murtala Muhammad, Ironsi was assassinated in the counter-coup of 1966. Both leaders didn’t suffer any known ailments.
The late General Sani Abacha and the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua died before they turned 60. They were both assailed by ill health. At 72, Buhari is remarkably healthy. We similarly wish to educate the governor that all mortals will certainly answer the ultimate call. When and how they would is beyond his call. It is patently sacrilegious to wish anyone dead. It goes against the tenets of the major religions. It is alien to African culture. To insinuate that Buhari would die in office if elected on account of old age borders on the fringes of lunacy.