President Muhammadu Buhari will return to Nigeria Saturday after receiving medical attention in London for 103 days, the presidency said this morning.
Mr. Buhari left the country on May 7 after handing over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has functioned as Acting President since then.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Mr. Buhari would speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m. on Monday, two days after his arrival.
Mr. Adesina quoted the President as “thanking all Nigerians who have prayed ceaselessly for his recovery and well-being since the beginning of the health challenge.”
PREMIUM TIMES was first to report that Mr. Buhari’s health had improved, and that he was waiting for clearance from his doctors to return home.
In that May 25, 2017 report, a source who sees the president almost every hour was quoted as saying Mr. Buhari was “doing very good” but waiting on his doctors to declare him well enough to return to his post.
Because of the huge secrecy that has surrounded the President’s real medical condition, many Nigerians were skeptical about that report. But PREMIUM TIMES stood firmly by its story.
However, shortly afterwards the president began to receive delegations from Nigeria at the Abuja House in London, with photographs of the visits widely circulated by the presidency.
On July 11, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo travelled to the British capital to meet the President, returning to say his boss’ health had improved significantly.
On July 23, Mr. Buhari received Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Oyegun. A photograph of the President and his guests at dinner during the visit was widely circulated.
Three days later, on July 26, Mr. Buhari met with seven Nigerian governors, led by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and comprising governors of Ebonyi, Kano, Benue, Akwa Ibom, and Oyo.
On August 12, the President received his presidential media team comprising Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture; Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Lauretta Onochie, Personal Assistant on Digital/Online Media, and Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters.
The president was to receive Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara afterwards. He also hosted the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Enoch Adeboye.
Mr. Buhari left the country for London on May 7 to continue with his medical treatment.
He had returned to Nigeria on March 10 after spending 51 days in the British capital during which he attended to his health.
Upon his return, the president said he “couldn’t recall being so sick since he was a young man, including in the military with its ups and downs.”
He also said he could not recall ever having blood transfusion before.
The president also hinted that he would return to the UK for further treatment.
However, as soon as he returned to the UK in May, rumours began to spread that he had passed on, a speculation that was promptly debunked by the presidency.