Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari is not dead — contrary to the strong rumours making the rounds in the country – The Presidency said on Saturday night, January 21, 2017.
“He is alive and well! President Buhari is not magical. He cannot be holidaying in the UK and be in Germany, dead or alive at the same time,” Garba Shehu, one of Buhari’s spokespersons, said in a short post on his Facebook page.
Buhari proceeded on a 10-day medical vacation in the UK on Thursday and is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina had assured that there is nothing to worry about the President’s routine medical checkup while on his vacation.
The president himself also made it clear that there is nothing wrong with going on vacation, just before stepping into the presidential jet.
The rumour can began when a fake news website, metro-uk.com posted a news report saying that President Muhammadu Buhari had died in London.
The news link quickly went viral with many people mistaking the website for the news website, Metro.co.uk.
This creators of the fake news may be capitalising on the Nigerian president’s shaky health history.
This is not the first time that Buhari would suddenly take ill and fly out of the country for medical attention.
Early June 2016, Buhari took a 10-day vacation and flew out to London to “check a minor ear infection”. A day in advance of his trip, Mr. Adesina announcing that “during the holiday, he will see an E.N.T. specialist for a persistent ear infection. The president was examined by his Personal Physician and an E.N.T Specialist in Abuja and was treated. Both Nigerian doctors recommended further evaluation purely as a precaution.”Two days later, News Express, exclusively reported that the president had been diagnosed with cancer in the UK. The paper reported:
A source told News Express this morning, “President Buhari went for check-up hours after he arrived in London. The hospital has discovered the cause of Mr President’s illness to be cancer of the ear and brain. Let us start praying.”
The source, who is well connected in government circles, gave the name of the hospital as Royal Hospital London. He said he was given the information by medical sources at the hospital who have been his longtime friends.
On June 10,, 2016, The Trent reported that President Buhari has been advised by his doctors to undergo surgery to remove the cancerous growth, a presidency source confirms to The Trent.
Our report confirmed the cancer diagnosis and that the he was ignoring the advise of his doctors to operate and remove the growth. Our report said:
According to the reliable source, Buhari has, indeed, been diagnosed with cancer and the cancer is “growing but not spreading” and doctors have recommended immediate surgery to remove the growth. But Buhari is hesitant to undergo the treatment because he would take 6 months to recuperate, during which time, he would be away from the office.
“Yes, the president has cancer. The doctors found cancer confined in the tissue mass in his prostrate. It’s in the cells. It is growing, but not spreading,” the source disclosed to The Trent, on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“The UK specialists say that considering Baba’s [Buhari’s] age, there’s a high chance that it will start spreading if it is not removed. But Baba is reluctant because it will mean that he will be away from work for six months,” the source revealed. “So, the president is waiting and watching and hoping that it doesn’t spread. If it begins spreading, he would have no choice but to operate.”
“The doctors have told him that stress will speed up the growth rate, so Garba and Adesina are working on a strategy to shield the president from citizen criticism and negative news reports. But it is not easy.”
According to another inside source, the president has directed his media aides to remain mute on the cancer report because it “will just be a distraction”.