The Wednesday London visit to President Muhammadu Buhari by the trio of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, and Leader of Senate, Ahmed Lawan, may have put a final seal on growing doubts cast on President Buhari’s health status.
Though the visit had been well publicized, feelers on the outcome of the meeting with the ailing president did not emerge until late Wednesday night.
In what appeared a united response, Saraki, speaking on behalf of the visiting team, declared President Buhari as “healthy, witty and himself.” He expressed delight at his level of fitness, noting that ” there is no cause for alarm.”
Saraki also had a word for those clamouring for a change in leadership. Said he, “The president’s absence and imminent return shows that there is no vacuum in government.”
The Senate President’s report on the findings of the trio were conveyed via a terse statement issued Wednesday night. It read in part, “Myself, Rt Honorable Yakubu Dogara and leader of Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan paid a visit to President Buhari in Abuja House in London.
“We were delighted to see that President Buhari is doing well, was cheerful and in good spirits.
“The president I saw today is healthy, witty and himself.
“The presiden’ts absence and imminent return shows that there is no vacuum in government and our system of democracy is working with all organs of government fulfilling their mandate. And let me use the time tested cliché, there is no cause for alarm!”
Buhari left Nigeria for London on February 19 for what the presidency termed a medical vacation. Rumours of his death eventually made the rounds but these were quickly dispelled.
He failed to return to duty in Nigeria on February 6 as scheduled and sought a further extension of his vacation through an official memo conveyed to the National Assembly.
Though the President had not made any public appearances since arriving London, he had hosted a number of prominent Nigerians, if only to remove any doubts as to his health status. These include, among others, his wife, Aisha, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, and Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He also had a telephone chat with President Donald Trump of the US on Tuesday.
A clamour for Buhari to speak to the Nigerian public has been rebuffed by the presidency, and a leaked correspondence between him and the National Assembly stated unequivocally that he would not be returning to Nigeria until his personal physicians certified him fit.
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