The prospect of the Nigerian president, an embodiment of the nation’s sovereignty and the repository of her most guarded state secrets lying helplessly in a foreign hospital at the mercy of a foreign doctor, who is obviously a mole or accessory to a mole of foreign intelligence service is scary and harrowing, especially with the probability that any listening device even mind-control or behaviour modification micro-chips could easily be inserted in the body of the Nigerian leader as part of routine medical checks.
Intelligence services and the espionage communities do not have the ethical restraints or the constitutional and democratic draw-backs of normal civil authorities even in the most advanced western democracies. They are the dark room and nerve centre of the state, far beyond the normal civil authorities and they constitute the deep state on which the normal governments rely.
To guarantee the survival of the state and advance its interests beyond the routines of the normal government is the core duty of the intelligence services and in the pursuit of this duty, they are not often mindful of the niceties of constitutionalism or morality.In the ruthless world of intelligence services, every act is fair in the preservation and advancement of the interest of the state. No intelligence service, worth its salt, even of those of banana republics, let alone of an advanced western country, would watch a head of state of an important country, walk in and out of its domain for routine medical check-ups or holidays, without setting up apparatus to gain advantage in information and leverage on it to advance its own national interest.
From the time former U.S. President, Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, his favorite barber in his home state, Chicago was always ferried to Washington for the hair-cut of the then president, under the watchful eyes of the U.S. intelligence and this is within the same country, not to imagine the prospect of the U.S. president travelling to another country to indulge himself in the pleasure of a hair-cut.
If the example of a U.S. president is far-fetched, think of this: no single Asian leader has travelled out of his country for a holiday or medical check-up. In the intelligence community, friends, allies and even enemies have little value. Edward Snowden, the U.S. intelligence contractor, blew the lid on how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, CIA routinely spies on the U.S. European allies, causing particular distress to the German and French political leaders, who claimed publicly to be hurt by the friendly fire, but would secretly blame their intelligence services for not building sufficient deterrent capacity.
In transmitting his letter to the Senate and the transfer of his powers temporarily to the vice president to act, on his behalf, Buhari and his handlers are reveling in their adherence to constitutional provision but seemed totally oblivious of grave security implications, of care-free foreign medical holidays.