Femi Adesina, the former Special Adviser to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, revealed that exhaustion from a lengthy foreign trip with his boss caused him to nearly collapse during a presentation at the National Security and Civil Defence Corps headquarters in Abuja.
According to Adesina, the incident occurred after a 17-hour flight from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, where he had accompanied Buhari to the World Health Organisation’s first World Bio Summit in October 2022.
In his new book, titled ‘Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023),’ which was launched in Abuja on Tuesday, Adesina explained, “During the journey back from Seoul, the flight took 17 hours. The simple explanation, even for someone like me without much technical knowledge, was that we were flying against strong winds. But it was an exhausting 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.”
Adesina narrates that the spokesman for the Department of State Services, Dr. Peter Afunnaya, noticed that he was in distress and guided him to his seat. Afterwards, the presidential spokesman narrated how he was taken away for a medical checkup.
“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 senior 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,” he added.