President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Nigeria’s president palace in Abuja after 50 days on vacation in London.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential chopper carrying the president from Kaduna landed at about 8.36 a.m.
The presidential plane that brought him from London earlier landed at the Nigeria Air Force base Kaduna at about 7.47 a.m.
The president was received on arrival at the villa by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, cabinet ministers, service chiefs and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
Others included Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and top government functionaries.
The President also met with members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Mr. Buhari left the country on Jan. 17 on a 10-day vacation which he said he would also use to have a medical check-up.
The leave was later extended, based on a medical advice by his doctors, who said they needed to carry out further tests on him.
The president’s jet landed at the VIP Wing of 401 Training School of Nigeria Air Force, Kaduna, at 7.40 a.m. where he was received by the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bantex.
The president was later flown by a presidential helicopter to Abuja.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Senior Special Adviser, Media and Publicity confirmed on Thursday that the president would return after his 49-day vacation, which has raised controversies.
The president left the country on Jan. 19 when he asked for 10 days medical leave from the Senate.
He said that in his absence that Osinbajo would act as the president of the country.
The president later wrote the Senate for an extension of the leave to enable him to undergo more medical tests based on the advice of his doctors.
He did not, however, state the time he would return.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have taken to Twitters to welcome President Buhari.
Simon Wada @simonwada tweeted: “Welcome President Buhari……. Feed him kunu geda, tuwo and mia kuku…UK food ain’t it for Mr. President apparently.”
An excited Kaduna governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said on Facebook:
“The President is back. He has landed safely in Kaduna and received by Acting Governor Barnabas Yusuf Bala and senior KDSG officials. The government and people of Kaduna State are proud to receive our First Citizen back to his home to face the task of rebuilding Nigeria. Alhamdulillah. Jumaat Mubarak to everyone.”
According to Mr. Adesina, President Buhari expressed appreciation to teeming Nigerians from across the country, and beyond, who had prayed fervently for him, and also sent him their good wishes.
While in London, the president received visitors at his base in the British capital, and made telephone calls to dignitaries in Nigeria.
There are widespread speculations in Nigeria that he is unwell but the presidency has repeatedly dismissed the insinuations.