President Buhari returns to Nigeria, 50 days after he left on a medical vacation; bringing to an abrupt end, the myriad of rumours, claims and speculations that have been rife in the country!
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has finally returned to his home country. The President arrived the country on Friday, March 10, 2016, at about 7:45 a.m. This is after about 50 days he left on a medical vacation. He touched down at the Air Force Base Mando in Kaduna State; this is as a result of the closure of the Abuja international airport. Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed temporarily for maintenance purposes.
President Buhari was received by the Kaduna State Deputy Governor Bala Bantex, GOC 1 Division, the Commissioner of police and other dignitaries. Having arrived at Kaduna, the President was immediately taken to the country’s capital -Abuja, with a helicopter.
See Video: Buhari Returns Home
Earlier on Thursday, the presidency had published pictures of a smiling Buhari meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in Abuja House, part of the Nigerian High Commission in London. President Buhari was seen in a yellow prayer gown with a white cap; while his visitor -the Archbishop was in a black suit.
“Very pleased to welcome the Most Revd and Rt Hon @JustinWelby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Abuja House this afternoon.” – Buhari tweeted.
President Buhari left Nigeria on January 19 for a 10-day medical vacation. The vacation which was expected to end on January 29 was however extended indefinitely. This decision the Presidency explained, was arrived at after consultations with his doctors who advised he stayed longer for more medical tests and check-ups.
Buhari’s indefinite extension of his medical leave had raised suspicions among Nigerians, that the President’s health is far worse than the presidency had been projecting.
Meanwhile, the leave was first extended to February 6, with the President expected to be back into the country on the said date. However, when word broke that Buhari was not going to return and that the leave has been extended indefinitely, it raised zillions of questions concerning the state of the President’s health.
Though Nigeria’s Presidency attempted to answer some of these questions, the vague nature of the series answers provided, gave rise to a huge sense of suspicion in the country.
Northern Leaders Pray for Buhari
Buhari’s continued absence coupled with the unanswered questions, gave rise to several prayer programs organized mostly by Northern leaders, for the quick recovery of the President. Some prayer sessions were also organized by Christian women leaders from the 19 northern states. These were all highly supported by high profile politicians.
Buhari Calls Counterparts
As anxiety intensified, President Buhari began calling both Nigerian and foreign leaders on phone to prove that he is still alive. Among some of the calls was that with US president Donald Trump. In their conversation, Buhari sought the help of the U.S government in tackling insurgency in the country among other issues.
There was also a phone conversation between President Buhari and the King of Morocco and the African Union President. The Nigerian President was also reported to have called his media aide, Mr. Adesina, Governor of Kogi state Bello and his co-ex-heads of state, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and many others.