Buhari may return this Saturday


Twenty-one days after he left Nigeria, on medical vacation, to London, the United Kingdom, President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke with Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara in separate telephone conversations on wednesday night.

This is coming on the heels of information that the president may return either today or tomorrow.

Yesterday, former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Osun State counterpart, Bisi Akande visited the president, in London.

Thereafter, the State House posted pictures of the visit.

The Presidency, using @NGRPresident official Twitter handle, said the meeting took place in Nigeria’s official residence in London.

“President @MBuhari currently receiving party leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in Abuja House, London,” the tweet said.

About half an hour later, the handle posted another picture, saying the president and his guests just finished a meeting.

Magic FM learnt that president Buhari called the speaker at about 9:20pm on Wednesday and spoke with him for a little over five minutes.

It was also gathered that although the president and the speaker discussed other national issues, their discussion centred on how the Executive and the Legislature can work together to ensure food security for Nigerians and prevent a relapse into events of 2016.

When contacted, Dogara’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan confirmed that both men have been in contact.

“As the Speaker tweeted via his official twitter handle @YakubDogara, Mr. President called him at around 9:20pm, Wednesday evening, and they spoke for about five minutes.”

“They discussed some national issues, including ways of ensuring food security for Nigerian,” Hassan stated.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki had, also, used Twitter, earlier in the week, to assure the public that the president was in good health.

Saraki, through his twitter handle @bukolasaraki, said he spoke with the president on Wednesday night, and he (President Buhari) was in high spirit.

“Happy to have spoken with President Buhari tonight. He was in good spirits and joked about my working late into the night, as usual,” Saraki had tweeted.

However, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama, yesterday, in Enugu, told newsmen that he has not had a direct communication with Buhari since he travelled.

He disclosed this shortly after completing his re-registration exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his Eke ward, in Udi Local Government Area.

“As minister I spoke to him before I went to the AU summit; we were together, actually not too long ago, in Mali, Bamako, in mid-January. I came back and had to go to Addis Ababa, while he went to London. We spoke before all that happened.

“The president is at his official residence in London, and not in hospital; he will be back as soon as possible. In my opinion, we don’t need to make out anything from that. When you consider the pace he’s been working, it must have taken a huge toll on him.

“He’s probably not had more than three weeks rest, that’s not enough in 18 months,” Onyeama said .

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised the presidency to release details of the full progress of President Buhari’s recovery.

Buhari was due to return to the country last Sunday, but, he extended his vacation, indefinitely.

Femi Adesina, his spokesman, had explained that Buhari’s doctors advised him to stay back to receive the results of a series of tests.

In a statement yesterday, CAN called on all Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the “quick and full recovery of Mr. President”.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is human, hence, he is subject to health challenges, sometimes. CAN appreciates the anxiety of Nigerians to hear Mr. President speak, but sues for understanding as we await that,” read the statement signed by Kwamkur Samuel, director of legal and public affairs.

“It’s very clear our leader is passing through health challenges. We advise the presidency to update Nigerians on how he is fairing and the full progress of his recovery.

“We call on all Christians and, indeed, all God-fearing Nigerians to dedicate time for prayers for our president and the nation. We owe our leaders prayers and support at all times, while shunning divisive opinions that only generate strive.”

CAN also canvassed support for acting President Yemi Osinbajo, saying he deserves prayers to lead well.

“We acknowledge that government is a continuum, hence, we call on acting president, Prof.  Yemi Osinbajo to be bold in handling critical state matters and not to be distracted by those who do not wish Nigeria well,” the statement said.