By Mustapha Usman
President Muhammadu Buhari, will return back to the United Kingdom for treatment tonight, the Presidency announced.
Close sources familiar with the president’s schedule said already an advance team comprising security detail and the president’s cook have already arrived in London.
“The president is expected to leave Nigeria for London tonight. All arrangements have been made for the trip,” said the source who craved anonymity.
Spokesman to the president, Femi Adesina, also confirmed to DAILY NIGERIAN that the president is leaving tonight. “I have just tweeted it. It is true,” he said.
In a statement, Mr Adesina said “He had planned to leave Sunday afternoon, but decided to tarry a bit, due to the arrival of 82 Chibok girls who arrived Abuja earlier in the day.
“The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry. He is very grateful for the prayers and good wishes of the people, and hopes they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation.
“The length of the President’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors. Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the Vice President.
“President Buhari has transmitted letters about the trip to the Senate and the House of Representatives, in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.”
Mr Buhari left Nigeria on January 19 on a vacation and returned on March 10 after extending the leave based on doctors’ recommendation for further tests and rest.
Upon return, the president admitted that it was the worst ailment he ever had in his life, hinting that he would go back to London for further treatment within weeks.
“I couldn’t recall when last I had a blood transfusion,” he said. About his treatment in London he added: “Blood transfusions, going to the laboratories and so on and forth.”
Following the absence of the president at state functions due to ill-health, minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the president needed time to rest and would work from home.
Notable Nigerians such as the founding chairman of the ruling party Bisi Akande, Femi Falana, Aliyu Tilde and Jibrin Ibrahim have called on the president to take sick leave to attend to his health as he was not attending to state matters of late.