Buhari meets former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in London

Left to Right: Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Muhammadu Buhari, Tony Blair, Senator Bukola Saraki... Photo Credit: Senator Bukola Saraki

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday held a meeting with a former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, in London.

Mr. Buhari met Mr. Blair in company with Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and a former Governor of Kwara, Bukola Saraki, who tweeted a group photograph of participants at the meeting.

“Just finished a meeting with @Govsia @ThisIsBuhari and @tonyblairoffice,” Mr. Saraki, an incumbent senator, wrote.

It is not clear what Mr. Buhari discussed with Mr. Blair at the meeting.

Mr. Saraki apparently tweeted the picture to challenge tales being spread by supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party that Mr. Buhari is in the United Kingdom for medical reason.

Mr. Buhari’s campaign had on Friday announced that Mr. Buhari had departed for the U.K. on a short working visit.

The statement said in the course of the visit, Mr. Buhari would hold meetings with key members of the British political establishment and interact with some global institutions with interest in the affairs of Nigeria.

“General Buhari will hopefully give a talk at the prestigious foreign policy hub, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House in London, the spokesperson for his campaign, Garba Shehu, said.

But shortly afterwards, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, issued a statement, accusing the APC of lying about Mr. Buhari’s itinerary in the U.K. and alleging that the candidate was in London for medical treatment.

Mr. Fayose, a core loyalist of President Jonathan, has continued to spread tales that Mr. Buhari is sick and incapable of governing.

Mr. Buhari has however continued to insist that he is well and fit to govern and that the health and death of everyone is in the hands of God.

The APC presidential candidate had on January 23 cancelled a visit to the United States, which would have seen him speak at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS, which invited him.

The organisation’s Director of African Programme, Jennifer Cooke, told PREMIUM TIMES at the time that Mr. Buhari cancelled the trip because of a change in his schedule.

Messrs. Buhari and Jonathan, both frontrunners in the coming presidential election, were invited by the organisation to speak on Nigeria’s future.

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