President Muhamadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria, after 51 days on vacation in London, United Kingdom.
PREMIUM TIMES correspondent in Kaduna said a presidential jet, 5N-FGN, conveying the president landed at exactly 7:40 a.m. at the Nigerian Air Force Base in the city.
Mr. Buhari was dressed in a black caftan with a black cap to march, and was received by Kaduna officials, amidst tight security.
He was immediately taken into a waiting helicopter to Abuja.
“Only select journalists were allowed to take photos and record video of his landing and take off,” our reporter says.
Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, said Mr. Buhari’s plane landed in Kaduna well after 7.am today in Kaduna, debunking earlier reports that the president flew in at about 4.am.
“We are now at the helipad at the Aso Villa awaiting his arrival from Kaduna. The flight will take about 40 minutes,” Mr. Adesina said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
In Kaduna, President Buhari was received by Deputy Governor Barnabas Yusuf Bala.
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.”
Mr. Adesina had announced Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari would return to Nigeria Friday (today).
Mr. Buhari left Nigeria on 19 January 19 for a vacation in London and was scheduled to return to work on 6 February.
During his visit to UK, he also said he would conduct some medical checks.
However, a day to his resumption, he requested for an extension of his holiday, following the recommendation of his doctors that he wait for further tests and rest.
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.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect additional details received on the president’s arrival.