Buhari extends vacation after UK doctors’ advice

Wife heads for lesser hajj

SANs: no vacuum

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his vacation. It is “open-ended” because his return can be anytime, a Presidency source said last night.

“The President can return home any time. It can be in a few days; it can be later but he does not want any leadership vacuum, “the source added.

The President, who was expected to return from his vacation and routine medical examinations in the United Kingdom (UK) after 10 days,  left the country on January 19.

A statement by Special Adviser (Media) to the President Mr. Femi Adesina titled:  ”President Buhari extends vacation, writes National Assembly”, said:

“President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly today, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

“The President had planned to return to Abuja this evening, but was advised to complete the test cycle before returning.

“The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.

“Mr. President expresses his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes.”

‘He’s not in hospital’

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media Mallam Garba Shehu said the president is not “seriously ill and not in the hospital. He is in the residence at the Nigeria Nigerian High Commission in London”

He added: “I just spoke to the president’s personal doctor, and he told me President Buhari is not in any serious condition as to worry about

“He and his delegation were ready to come home today (yesterday) but for the delayed test result which came in today which necessitated that he delays his return.

“There is nothing to worry about as far as his condition is concerned”.

Section 145: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”

A source in Senate President Bukola Saraki’s office said the leave extension letter had been received.

The source noted that although the letter had not been officially handed over to Saraki, the Senate President had been informed.

He said Saraki was briefed by a top presidential aide in a telephone conversation.

The President’s wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser hajj.

She earlier deferred the trip to Saudi Arabia to visit London to see her husband last week.

A source in the Presidency said: “The First Lady has gone for lesser hajj to pray. She initially deferred her trip to see the President in London. Having been satisfied with the state of the health of the President, she opted to perform the lesser hajj to pray.

“This should prove to Nigerians that Buhari’s health is not as critical as being portrayed. If he has a major health problem, the family will not hide it at all.”

Another top government official said: “The vacation is now open-ended because all he is doing is to run some tests which only doctors can determine their timelines. Instead of asking for one or two more weeks, he left it open-ended because he can come back sooner than expected.

“I think Nigerians should appreciate that President Buhari is a honest and committed leader, who believes in the constitution, which he has sworn to uphold. There is no cause for anxiety at all.”

Also yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed denied a report credited to him on the President’s delayed return.

A statement by his Special Assistant Mr. Segun Adeyemi  said:  ”Our attention has been drawn to a report quoting the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as saying the President’s return to Nigeria may be hampered by a faulty aircraft.

”The minister has not spoken to anyone on the issue of the President’s return, hence this report is another from the stable of the purveyors of fake news and should be disregarded.”

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