Nigeria’s Buhari to return home after sick leave




File picture: Nigerian President Buhari with the President of Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe in Johannesburg, South Africa

ABUJA – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will return on Saturday from medical leave in Britain where he has been since 7 May, a presidential spokesman said.

The presidency has not disclosed the precise nature of the 74-year-old’s ailment, which has led to speculation in Nigerian media and on social media about his illness and whether he will seek a second term by contesting the 2019 election.

Buhari, who took office in May 2015, handed over power to his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, in his absence to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa’s biggest economy.

“President Muhammadu Buhari returns to the country later today, after receiving medical attention in London,” the president’s spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement on Saturday.

“President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m (0600 GMT) on Monday, August 21,” he said.

It was his second break for medical leave in Britain this year after a first that began in January and lasted nearly two months.

Buhari reduced his working day to a few hours after returning to Nigeria from his first stint of medical leave on March 10, diplomats and government sources said.