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Medical tests show I need more time to rest, says Buhari

By Tunde Oyedoyin (London), Terhemba Daka and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja)   |   22 February 2017   |   4:27 am  

President Buhari receiveing Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Senate Leader Senator Ahmed Lawan on Wednesday in London

• ‘President can’t be hijacked for interview’
• Silence continues at Abuja House in London

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that results of medical tests showed he needed more time to rest, a development which has necessitated his stay in the United Kingdom (UK) longer than originally planned.

Buhari who said “there is no cause for worry” in a statement yesterday, expressed gratitude to Nigerians for their “show of love and concern.”

The presidency’s failure to say when Buhari would return to the country has continued to fuel rumours and agitations with many Nigerians demanding a regular bulletin on the president’s health status.

According to the statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president thanked millions of Nigerians who have been sending good wishes and praying for his health and wellbeing in mosques and churches throughout the country.

Buhari left the country since January 19, 2017 on a medical vacation to the United Kingdom. But there has been no definite answer from the presidency regarding the exact date of his expected return to the country after the expiration of the initial 10 days he sought to stay away.

Adesina had, in a statement on the expiration of the 10 days, confirmed ‎that the president would be extending his stay in the U.K. to “complete the test circle before returning.”

President Buhari was expected to resume from his vacation on Monday, February 6, 2017 but he wrote to the National Assembly informing it of his desire to extend his leave in order to receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

Meanwhile, the presidency yesterday said that the treatment meted out to a journalist of The Guardian in his bid to interview Buhari in the U.K. could not be considered as harassment.

Adesina, who played down the report while fielding questions from the State House correspondents in Abuja yesterday, declared that any where in the world, “presidents are not hijacked and interviewed.”

The Guardian’s reporter had made several attempts to see President Buhari at the Abuja House, the official residence of the Nigerian High commissioner to the U.K., but met a brick wall as London police operatives were invited to arrest him.

Adesina insisted yesterday that interviewing the president should be on schedule and not by a hijack. “I do not consider that as harassment. Presidents are not hijacked and interviewed. Those things are scheduled. So I do not consider that as harassment,” he said.

The media aide, who urged Nigerians to learn how to believe their leaders, said he was not speaking for himself. “I speak for somebody, I do not speak for myself. So it is what he tells me to say that I say and the statement transmitted to me is that the president needs to rest for some further time,” he said.

On what is wrong with the president, he said: “Don’t you know that the Hippocratic Oath even forbids a doctor from speaking about the condition of his patient except the patient authorises it? It is only the patient himself who can speak about what he is going through.

“This is the person going through this series of tests and rest and he says no cause to worry, let us believe that. He is the one who owns the body and there is nobody who will know his body more than him,” he stated.

On reports that Buhari may remain in the U.K. for months, Adesina said: “What we have just said is what I will want us to believe. The president said he needed to rest further. The same president that communicated that to us, when it is time for him to come, he will also communicate to us.

“It makes sense to say that maybe from the results of the tests, further rest has been recommended. The statement did not say how long the rest will last.”

The presidential spokesman debunked a rumour that Buhari has lost his voice.

His words: “Those people need to prove it. He spoke with President Trump. Did Trump say he did not speak with Nigerian President? Anybody can allege anything.”

He said President Buhari wants Nigerians to know that he appreciates their prayers, he concerns and goodwill.

On his message to Nigerians, Adesina said: “My message is that let us learn to believe our leaders. This is a man we elected into office and he says no cause to worry, let us believe him.”

The silence over Buhari continued on Monday evening as staff at the Abuja House, London barked out orders at The Guardian reporter, asking him to “leave that place” when they saw him in front of the Kensington residence for the second consecutive day.

The drama began around 5:31p.m. as soon as the two male occupants of one of the official vehicles at the house arrived. On being dropped off inside the house, both conferred with each other briefly in front of the main entrance, with their back to the gate, where the reporter was stationed.

When they turned round and stared at him annoyingly, the reporter motioned to them, “excuse me sirs, l am a reporter from The Guardian, I have come to interview the president.” The taller of the two shouted, “leave that place, I said leave that place.” Both of them moved towards the gate and when the reporter repeated the same words, the other man looked at the reporter and used his hand to indicate that perhaps something was wrong with the journalist mentally, before both of them went through the side door. None came out till The Guardian left at 6:45p.m.

Before the duo arrived, the reporter introduced himself to another insider as he walked across the premises. The smartly dressed man also asked The Guardian to “go away.” In the conversation that lasted about three minutes, he asked: “Why are you doing this?’’ When told it was simply to get the president to speak directly to Nigerians, he walked away.



  • John Tosh

    Medical tests show you need to stay away from that young woman who was sent by the CIA who poisoned you!

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  • Ooto Leke Musa

    Dear fellow Nigerians, I ask, why is it that most of us spend time on the unnecessary? When Buhari was in Nigeria trying to clean the mess created by several generations of past governments, only few people responded with understanding and appreciation. Even the poor among us, allowed stupidity to cloud their senses. And now that Buhari has become ill and requiring medical attention – at his age, a number of Nigerians have abandoned their civic duty to the nation and continue to pursue the unnecessary. Wouldn’t it be wise for Nigerians to allow him the deserved rest and recuperation? Time is going on our nation guys – the rest of the world is leaving us behind. Though we are arguably an educated nation amongst other nations in Africa, yet that has not translated into a positive gain in the way we think. Unbelievable!!

    • PETER UDOFIA

      There is nothing a sick person can offer except voice of agony and pain.

    • kalu9909

      The rest of the world is leaving us behind because of the behaviour of people like the President. “Although we are arguably an educated nation among other nations in Africa, yet that has not translated into a positive gain in the way we think”. The reason we have not made any headway despite our level of education is due to the enthronement of an illiterate as the president of the most populous country in black Africa. Imagine what you are posting. You have already informed us that we are what we are due to the type of leaders imposed on us by selfish and greedy political leaders. How on earth could an educated nation like Nigeria vote for an illiterate as our president? Is it now that you knew that Buhari is an old man. You were warned not to present Buhari as your presidential candidate, but due to your lack of understanding and tribal sentiments, you went ahead and fielded him as a candidate. Is it now that you knew that Buhari deserves enough rest? Buhari, at the age of 74, he should not have come out to contest election.There are younger and more capable hands he should have supported, bu the choose to contest in order to score a point and to use the opportunity to seek revenge. if Buhari needs rest as you said, good and wll. But must he be in a foreign land to rest. He can rest in his village at Duara without any hindrance. And if he must rest, he should resign from his post and hand over to Prof. yemi Osinbanjo. Presently, President Buhari is incapacitated and should step aside.

    • Correctness

      You cannot cure old age.

  • PETER UDOFIA

    When the head is sick the body is sick. God heal our head and take this sickness away. Amen.

  • Olukayode Oluwaseyi

    Does the doctors advice that nobody around the President should talk with journalist? i mean it is obvious that something is fishing. Can Thrump be kept in one corner of the world and Americans will not know…
    Something has to be done. Let Oshibajo be declared President.
    May God grant Buhari quick recovery (if baba still dey alive.) Abi?

  • kumi

    Why is Buhari greedy of power he should do the needful by resigning so he can take good care of him self, osinbajo can rule in his place as president but the truth is Buhari need real rest

  • kumi

    A man of the age of our president Buhari don’t need took much thinking of Nigeria problems.

  • Arit Bassey

    Hmmmmm…..the rest continues…..Mr.President rest well o! Nigerians, the wait for our President to come back continues…. WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN. It is well with NIGERIA!!!!

  • Ojiyovwi

    Brother Buhari, you know now that leadership is a grueling task and it is relentless. Those of us who have played that role in our large and extended families know only too well. My advice to you as a patriotic Nigerian here in the UK, is that you look after your health IN NIGERIA with whatever health infrastructure you have helped to create. You have to identify with our people. None of us will live forever, whether here in the UK or at home in Nigeria. You can always employ those medical staff, treating you here (possibly Nigerians) to a ‘SPECIAL FACILITY’ in Abuja with resources from INDIA – just as good. But brother Buhari is wrong, very wrong to continue to wast our peoples meager resources on medical trips abroad and having prohibitve visitors. I appreciate that you don’t want to be seen in a sick state by your Northern sectional minorities who insist on your presidency, but you’re a human with all the frailties in-built in all of us. Go home and be honest as you’ve thus far. Our ancestors will not be angry with you. You have brought in the principle of the minimum wage even for those out of work – a very desirable benevolent deed. Now do more without wasting our money on fruitless and point running abroad for ‘ONLY VIABLE HEALTH CARE’ in the world that you know. Believe it or not, people also die here in the ‘EXCELLENT Facilities’. Brother Buhari, these are your own twilight moments in this life. Spend it well for the benefit of our people and quit lining the pockets of foreigners.

    • Correctness

      Good advice. Old age is incurable. It can only be managed. Thank you.

  • Izeobor

    Adesina, what an irony! “Buhari was able to speak to Trump”, yet he considered it an insult to speak to his “subjects”.

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