Fresh concerns as President Buhari remains indoors


– For two days now President Muhammadu Buhari has stayed away from his office for the second time in a row since Thursday, April 13.

The president was absent at the weekly Wednesday edition of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. His Vice Osinbajo functioned in his place.

This is the first time Buhari would be absent from the FEC meeting since March 10 when he returned from London where he spent weeks on medical vacation.

The reasons for the president’s absence has largely remained unknown as there was no official position on that. gathering that while speculations were rife that he had fallen sick, the minister of information, Lai Mohammed after the meeting stated that the president was not ill.

However the minister assured Nigerians that the president who was at his official residency would resume duties in his office later that Wednesday or Thursday (yesterday).

He said: “Clearly when we came in this morning, Mr President was not in the chambers but the Vice President did preside over the council meeting. Understandably, that has sparked a lot of controversies and imputations in the mind of people.

“I just want to make this clear, Mr President is in town. Mr president is attending to other issues. Mr president looked at the agenda, it was a very light agenda and decided that the Vice President should preside.

“It’s not unusual for the kind of interest that is shown especially given the fact that Mr president was away for a while on medical treatment and is not. We are not surprised that people will be wondering is he ill again? “He is not ill, he is not sick. I am sure that later in the day or tomorrow morning, he will be back in the office. I just want to clear that misconception.

“It is not unusual even if Mr president is hale and hearty and everything is going on well, for the VP to come and preside over meetings of the federal executive council.

“The fact that Mr President is not in the office does not mean that he is not working. I have just been told now that the secretary to the government is already with him in the residence working.

So, the fact that you did not see him in the office does not mean that he is not working at all.”

It was learnt that the president was not in the office on Thursday, as there was no known function he attended yesterday. previously reported that President Buhari was flown to London, United Kingdom January 19 on a medical vacation.

The presidency had first announced that he was there for a 10-day leave. But he extended the leave on medical grounds.

Some Nigerians likened the situation to that of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua who died in office in 2010 after his close associates kept his illness secret.

But the minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that the comparison being made about Buhari and late Yar’Adua was baseless as there were no similarities.

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