Diplomats have claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari routes his official trips via London, to enable him see his doctor and avoid declaring medical leave all the time.
According to a Reuters report, these unnamed diplomats are believed to be from Western countries.
Buhari was scheduled to return to the country on February 6, but he sent a letter to the National Assembly, asking for an extension to the initial 10 days.
“Diplomats say Buhari has made several visits to Britain to see his doctor, routing official trips even to destinations as far afield as Asia via London so as not to have to declare medical leave all the time,” Reuters reported.
Several high-profile politicians have visited the President since he travelled to the UK. Some of them include: National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu; Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
No Definite Time For Buhari’s Return – Presidency
The Nigerian presidency has revealed that there is no definite time for President Muhammadu Buhari to return to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where he is on an extended medical leave since January 19, 2017.
President Buhari was expected back on the February 6, 2017 after an initial 10-day medical vacation, but that was not to be.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesperson, had in a statement at the expiration of the 10 days confirmed that the president would be extending his stay indefinitely in the UK to “complete the test circle before returning.”
When The Guardian contacted Mr. Adesina on Saturday, February 18, 2017 for update, he briefly said “when the president is coming will be made known.”
Recall that President Buhari was expected to resume from his vacation on Monday, February 6, 2017.
However, he wrote to the National Assembly informing the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.
With the Presidency failing to come up with a categorical statement on when President Buhari would return to the country, the development has continued to fuel agitations, with many Nigerians demanding regular updates on President Buhari’s status, as was the case when former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was indisposed.
Buhari Health Rumours
Rumours about the health status of the president continue to swirl on cyber-space after a fake news website reported that Buhari had passed on.
The Nigerian presidency has debunked the rumour and said that the retired military general, 74, is “alive and well”.
“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.
The president left the country on January 19, 2017 on a 10-day leave. While making the official announcement, presidential spokesperson, 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 president was expected to return to the country on February 6, 2017, the same day that the presidency issued a statement saying that he had extended his medical leave indefinitely due to health reasons.
Additional reporting by Reuters.