President Muhammadu Buhari, has embarked to London, on Sunday night, for what his office said was a “follow-up medical consultation” with his Doctors, after weeks of mounting concern about his health.
Buhari’s move by embarking on the medical leave however, contradicted the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed’s insistence, that the President was “hale and hearty” all the while.
Earlier on Sunday, he was pictured sitting in an armchair at his residence, dressed in white traditional robes, looking painfully gaunt, surrounded by 82 recently released Chibok schoolgirls.
Recall, that Buhari’s previous trip to London in January, was billed by his office as a 10-day holiday, combining “routine medical check-ups”, but it was later extended from early February, and he only returned in early March.
The Presidency Spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the 74-year-old Buhari’s Doctors, would determine how long he stayed in the British capital.
“The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry”, Adesina said in a statement posted on the Presidency’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
“He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation.”
“The length of the President’s stay in London, will be determined by the Doctors. Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo)”, Adesina said.
Recall, that Buhari had not been seen in public for several weeks until last Friday, when he attended weekly prayers at the Presidential Villa, after missing the last three cabinet meetings and other engagement.
Buhari had also been under pressure to disclose the nature of his illness, but has said he would have to have a follow-up treatment, in London.
The health of Nigeria’s President, has been a sensitive issue after Umaru Musa Yar’Adua fell ill and died in office, in 2010, from a long-standing, but undisclosed kidney complaint.
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