President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend Juma’at prayer at Aso Rock mosque on Friday, April 28, 2017.
This is the first time that the president will be absent at the mosque since he returned to the country after a 49-day medical vacation in the UK.
However, some of the dignitaries who usually join him at the mosque were there for prayers.
Among them were Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, Ibikunle Amosun, his Ogun counterpart, and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara.
The absence of the president in public functions has been a source of concern.
On Wednesday, Buhari missed the federal executive council meeting for the second time in a row, fuelling reports about his health condition.
On Thursday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said doctors advised the president to take things slowly while fully recovering from the “long period of treatment in the United Kingdom”.
Shehu said there was no need for apprehension over the health of the president.
“The presidency hereby assures the good people of Nigeria that, despite the insinuations of a number of media organisations, there is no need for apprehension over the health of our President, Muhammadu Buhari,” Shehu had said in a statement.
“President Buhari’s absence at the federal executive council meeting of Wednesday, April 26, was a last minute decision; otherwise, the cabinet and the public might have been alerted in advance. As eager as he is to be up and about, the president’s doctors have advised on his taking things slowly.
“President Buhari himself, on his return to the country, made Nigerians aware of the state of his health while he was in London. Full recovery is sometimes a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation, as the minister for information, Lai Mohammed, intimated in his press briefing after the FEC meeting on Wednesday.”
The presidential spokesman assured Nigerians that Buhari was still in charge of the country, and that he had been receiving daily briefings on the activities of the government.