When The Mental Health Of A President Matters By Duncan Odey
Most will agree that mental health, like physical health of public figures should be a legitimate topic for public discussion and concern. In medicine, mental impairment is considered as serious as physical impairment and it is just as debilitating and of equal, if not more, impact on fitness for public office.
In the wake of the bloodletting that has become the hallmark of the Buhari presidency, it has become pertinent to put some of Buhari's decisions within the purview of his mental fitness for office.
There are many examples, including but not limited to his abnormal silence on herdsmen and bandit terrorism, his impulsive violence towards the IPOB and his open disdain for people of Eastern Nigeria, especially the Igbos and his abnormal appointment of only Fulanis to most federal offices, to the chagrin of the Southwest that assisted him to power.
Past violence is the best predictor of future violence and Buhari has shown other predictors, such as verbal aggressiveness, boasting about the atrocities of the civil war and inciting violence in others (the infamous baboons and dogs soaking in blood).
Specific traits that are highly associated with violence include: impulsivity, recklessness, paranoia, a loose grip on reality with a poor understanding of consequences, rage reactions, a lack of empathy, belligerence towards others and a constant need to demonstrate power, all of which Buhari boasts in sufficient quantity.
There is another pattern by which Buhari is dangerous. His cognitive function, or his ability to process knowledge and thoughts, has begun to be widely questioned. Many have noted a distinct decline in his outward ability to form complete sentences, to stay with a thought and to use complex words. This is dangerous because of the critical importance of decision-making capacity in the office that Buhari holds.