Nigerians did not meet the new year with the good news of a waning recession or a better economy and so when their President, Muhammadu Buhari, set out on a vacation to London for what was meant to be “routine medical check-ups” and a nasty death rumour emerged days later, loyalties were divided.
Some Nigerians rejoiced at the news while other (more forgiving) Nigerians quickly cut past the rumour and immediately started sending up prayers for the President.
The death rumour was quickly dispelled by the President’s media team but what was to follow was a baffling couple of weeks where the Presidency stoically defended the President’s health and Nigerians wondered what then was keeping him away.
To quell the fears of the people, the President was called on many times to address Nigerians, a call that he refused to heed. Some Nigerian politicians, however, found their way to the President’s residence in London and shared pictures they had taken him while declaring him hale and hearty.
United States President, Donald Trump, would also make a call to President Buhari to discuss the partnership between the two countries in fighting Boko Haram. All these were more than enough evidence that President Buhari was alive and well but the question of Nigerians about what exactly was keeping their President back in London remained unanswered.
President Buhari has finally spoken up and his reason has been made available to journalists in a four-paragraph statement given by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.
The President said on Tuesday that results of the series of medical checkups he carried out in the cause of his medical vacation had shown that he needed a longer period of rest, which necessitated his staying back in London longer than initially planned.
His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, did not say how much longer the President would need to rest but he thanked Nigerians for their prayers and good wishes while assuring them that there is no cause for worry.
Here is the released statement;
“President Muhammadu Buhari thanks the millions of Nigerians who have been sending good wishes and praying for his health and well-being in mosques and churches throughout the country.
The President is immensely grateful for the prayers, show of love and concern.
President Buhari wishes to reassure Nigerians that there is no cause for worry.
During his normal annual checkup, tests showed he needed a longer period of rest, necessitating the President staying longer than originally planned.”
In the meantime, the country remains in the care of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.