By Chinwendu Agoha (Governance Reporter)
The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has demanded that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) explain to Nigerians the justification for opposing President Muhammadu Buhari's travel to the UK for a scheduled medical check-up when it woefully failed to establish a functional health service infrastructure despite earning trillions of Naira during sixteen years in office.
The opposition party, according to BMO, lacks the moral authority to comment on the President's routine medical trip. The PDP should have instead used the opportunity to seek information on what the Buhari administration is doing to reverse the decay and bequeath Nigerians a legacy of world-class health care facilities and support systems which will ultimately make medical tourism unnecessary.
The BMO, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and its Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, stated that what the Buhari administration has achieved in six years in upgrading the nation's healthcare sector beats what previous PDP administrations put in place and should inspire public confidence of a new dawn in the health sector.
"Like in the agricultural sector where this administration has transformed Nigeria from a net food importer to a self-sufficient and food-exporting nation, the Buhari administration has embarked on strategic funding of health services related projects across all the geo-political zones in the past six years.
"The administration, through the NSIA, has invested over 11 Million Dollars in establishing a world-class Cancer Treatment Centre at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital. Similar work is ongoing in Abia and Kano States. Bear in mind that the administration is delivering these facilities with the limited funds available to it.
"Nigerians also recall with glowing pride the efforts of the Federal Government in proactively managing the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallouts in its wake. This government speedily established a technical and governance structure that meets global accounting standards. Funds were swiftly approved and released for the establishment of test centres and gas plants. A minimum of one functional laboratory has now been set up and activated in each state of the Federation for Covid-19 testing.
"A Half a Trillion intervention fund to upgrade healthcare facilities and fund the government's Special Public Works Programme was also put in place.
"What we can see from all these is the clear indication that the Buhari government does take the challenge of fixing Nigeria's health challenges lightly.
"If the PDP had been half this serious, given the enormous resources that were available to it in 16 years, Nigeria would have been the centre of medical tourism in Africa. That ambitious dream is underway under President Buhari."
"The Jonathan Government, alone, is reported to have made over 51 Trillion Naira in oil earnings during its six-year stay in office. A quarter of that amount, at that time, would have delivered 12 world-class hospitals, across the country, with two in each geo-political zone of the country."
The group stated that whereas President Buhari did not travel to the UK to spike Nigeria's medical professionals whom he holds in the highest esteem, his decision was informed by the need to use the services of his Doctor, whom he has retained for over three decades and who is most familiar with his medical record.
While urging the PDP to desist from playing ugly politics with the health of the nation's leaders, BMO invited the opposition party to join the Buhari administration in its journey to change the country's healthcare narrative on a positive note. NNL.