The immediate past president’s former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has recounted how stress from a long foreign trip with his principal, Muhammadu Buhari, during his tenure led to him almost collapsing.
He said that he and the former president had flown for about 17 hours from Seoul, South Korea, where he had joined Buhari to attend the first World Bio Summit organised by the World Health Organisation in October 2022.
Adesina said when they arrived in Nigeria, he went for a presentation two days later at the headquarters of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Abuja where the incident occurred.
He made this known in a new book titled ‘Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023),’ launched in the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday.
The ex-presidential spokesman said; “On the way back from Seoul, flying time was 17 hours. The explanation a layman like me would understand was that we were flying against the wind. But it was a strenuous trip.
I had a presentation to make two days later at a seminar on Strategic Communication organised by the headquarters of the NSCDC for its spokesmen from across the country. I knew I was weary and needed rest, but I had given my word that I would be available.
“The first thing that should have flashed an alarm bell in my mind was that when I got out of bed that morning, I staggered a bit. I did not give it much consideration and was at the event by the scheduled time. I had presented my paper for about 35 minutes and was concluding when I suddenly lost focus. I became disoriented and could no longer see the paper I was speaking from. I became transfixed on the podium.
“I did not need to be told that I had burned my candle at both ends and I was running into trouble health-wise. From the event, I went straight to the brand new Everight Diagnostic Centre in the Wuse area of Abuja.
“I told my story to Mr. Everest Okpara, who owns the place and he ran comprehensive tests on me. When the results came, I saw areas I needed to watch for an aspiring senor citizen. I took the necessary care and had no health scare again till we landed on May 29, 2023.
“The lesson? Do not think you are indestructible. So watch it because your health also matters. Do not drive yourself to breaking point”.