Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, says it is a “crying shame” for President Muhammadu Buhari to travel to London, United Kingdom, for “routine” medical check-up.
On Tuesday, Buhari departed the country for a medical check-up in London, and he is expected back in the country in the second week of April.
This is not the first time the president will embark on a medical trip, since he assumed office in 2015.
In 2017, the president spent over 150 days in the UK, treating an undisclosed ailment, while in May 2018, he returned to the UK for four days to see his doctor.
Speaking on Wednesday when he featured on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, Abaribe said it is morally wrong for the president to seek medical treatment abroad, since Buhari had previously condemned the practice.
“What is a medical tourist? You leave your country to go to get medical attention elsewhere and that’s not your country. So, what are you? You’re nothing but a medical tourist,” the lawmaker said.
“I think it is a crying shame that we have lost so much to the extent that just to do a medical check-up, you have to go all the way to London.
“Like I said before, we just see people who say something and do the exact opposite. People come from outside the country to come and get medical treatment here; which means we have the facilities in certain local hospitals.
“There are many great Nigerian doctors who could also do that, but it seems to me that the commander-in-chief is fixated on always running to another country.”
The senate minority leader expressed disappointment that despite the promise that the COVID-19 pandemic would offer an opportunity to upgrade the country’s medical facilities, nothing much has been done.
“This is the president that told us he will never go on any medical check-up or trip abroad, and usually condemns the huge amount of money spent on medical treatment outside before he was elected in 2015,” he said.
“When the COVID business started, we were assured that medical facilities in Nigeria will be upgraded and that there will be no need for our monies to be spent abroad.
“We’re just surprised that nothing has changed. He is still depending on foreign facilities than in Nigeria.
“Everybody would have expected that the state house clinic would have the minimum to do medical checks for him.”