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Buhari ‘Rushes’ To UK Amidst Health Concerns


By Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari may have been ‘rushed out’ of the country to the United Kingdom on Thursday for a two-week health vacation.

Buhari had, on Thursday, sent a letter to the Senate, saying that he would proceed on a 10-day working short vacation as part of his 2017 annual leave.

He had indicated in the letter that he will begin the annual leave on Monday, January 23.

But contrary to the letter sent to the Red Chamber, Buhari may have already begun his leave earlier before the scheduled day.

Apart from being rushed out of the country to the UK on Thursday afternoon, Sundiata Post gathered from a reliable source at the Presidential Villa that Buhari had not been to work since Monday, January 16, 2017.

Buhari’s letter to the Senate was read by the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on the floor of the Upper Chamber on Thursday morning.

The letter read: “In compliance with Section 145(1) of the 1999 Constitution, I want to inform the distinguished Senate that I will be away on a 10-day short vacation as part of my 2017 annual leave from Monday January 23, to Monday  February 6, 2017.

“And while I’m away, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of my office.

“Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

The letter was also transmitted to the House of Representatives.

The Presidency collaborated that Buhari was rushed out of the country for health reasons with an official statement, announcing that Buhari will be proceeding to the United Kingdom on a short vacation to attend to his health.

Unlike the letter read earlier by Senate President at Thursday’s plenary, the Presidency later issued another statement saying  that Buhari’s vacation had taken effect on Thursday (today) and that Buhari “leaves today”, Thursday, January 19.

The statement by Presidential Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari leaves for the United Kingdom today (Thursday) on a short leave, which is part of his annual vacation. He is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.

“During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups. In line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, have been duly communicated.

“While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President.”

It would be recalled that Buhari had, 2016, went on two separate leaves.

Buhari, in February, took a six-day vacation, which he began from February 5 to February 10, 2016.

Also in June last year, Buhari embarked on a 10-day leave, during which he travelled to London on June 6.

While in London, he visited “an E.N.T. specialist for a persistent ear infection”, according to a statement issued then by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina.

The leave was purportedly to treat an ear infection.

But Buhari ended up staying for an additional seven days before returning to the country.

The state of the President’s health has been an issue even before the March 28, 2015 presidential election.

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