The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, has lambasted some past Nigerian leaders over their failure to adequately invest and properly fix the Nigerian healthcare sector.
Sowore disclosed this on Thursday during an interaction with Nigerian pharmacists at the 95th annual pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria held at Crispan Suites and Events Centre, Rayfield, Jos, Plateau State capital.
Speaking at the conference with the theme, “Medicine Security in an Unstable Economy”, Sowore described it as unfortunate, the fact that former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who became the President after his principal, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in office after spending five months in Saudi Arabia hospital, could not boast of having built any single standard hospital in Nigeria to revive the country’s healthcare sector.
The human rights activist and #RevolutionNow convener further took a swipe at the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, saying that even though from the outset of his administration, he knew that he would need a standard and functional healthcare system in the country, yet, he failed to do the needful in the sector.
Meanwhile, Buhari frequently flies to London, United Kingdom for medical treatment while about 200 million Nigerians are at the mercy of the abysmal healthcare system in the country.
Buhari is currently in London after travelling earlier in the week for an operation to remove a cancerous tumour, as exclusively reported by SaharaReporters.
The AAC presidential candidate said, “We are meeting at a crucial time in the life of this country because we are discussing healthcare and because it is a time when the president of this country has run away because there is no healthcare.
“One thing that we must all agree on is that Nigeria has failed us. Your president (Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria) was saying that over 6,000 pharmacists have left (Nigeria). I think since the end of COVID-19, some 8,000 doctors have left. We can’t count how many nurses who have left.
“Regardless of what we are going through in our healthcare sector, our leaders are so wicked, useless; I’m sorry to say this, that they refuse to care for healthcare in the healthcare sector which is their most important need.
“This country has had a president who died in office. For five months our president was in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. You would think that the next presidents, who of course know that they are not too well, could help us build hospitals in this country so that in case of emergency, they could be attended to, but as you know, they have learned nothing and they have forgotten nothing.
“You would think that Nigeria will think about governance in the healthcare sector but guess who is the Minister of State for Health, a lawyer because Nigeria has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
“Out of 177 countries in the world, Nigeria ranks 144 in healthcare performance. Today, we have nothing that could be called healthcare.”
Yar’Adua, from the time he was elected into office in 2007, sought healthcare in Saudi Arabia till he died in 2010, after spending five months.
SaharaReporters in 2010 reported that before the Nigerian government admitted and announced his death in January 2010, rumours of his death had swept through Nigeria and among Nigerians abroad after a site, “American Chronicles,” claimed in a report that the Nigerian “leader” had passed on December 10, 2009, at the King Faisal Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The report, which turned out to be false, quickly spread amongst Nigerians through the Internet and phone calls. SaharaReporters received numerous telephone and email inquiries as to whether we could confirm the report.
The speculation about Yar’Adua’s demise came on the heels of another news report carried by a Lagos-based newspaper, Next, which reported that Yar’Adua was “brain-dead”.