With the second medical leave of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, there is widespread fear that a coup will overthrow his administration. Even if these fears do not materialize, the tensions and instability associated with a potential coup could lead to additional attacks against Christians with the lack of clear leadership.
2017-05-18 Nigeria (International Business Times) – Buhari's medical trips, and mystery surrounding his medical conditions, are sparking speculations on his health and the future of one of Africa's largest economies.
Analysts have previously warned Buhari's prolonged absence could spark a power struggle ahead of 2019 presidential elections, should the leader become incapacitated.
Matthew T Page, analyst and former US intelligence expert on Nigeria, told IBTimes UK earlier in May that ruling party elites were "already quietly positioning themselves to be named vice president if Osinbajo becomes acting president."
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has now warned army officials against becoming involved in the country's politics. He made the remarks on 16 May after the Nigerian army received information that "some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons," according to Nigerian site Premium Times.
Some Nigerians have drawn similarities between Buhari's medical leave and that of deceased former president Umaru Yar'Adua, who was admitted to a hospital in Saudi Arabia in 2009.