Nigerian President Buhari in London for Medical Checkup

  • Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to run government: spokesman
  • Duration of Buhari’s absence to be determined by doctors

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari traveled to London for follow-up consultations with doctors after a previous trip there earlier this year, a spokesman said.

“Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership” of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in an emailed statement. Buhari, 74, traveled Sunday night and doctors will determine the duration of his absence, Adesina said.

“The President wishes to assure all Nigerians that there is no cause for worry,” the spokesman said.

Buhari delayed his departure by several hours to meet Sunday night with 82 Chibok girls freed by Boko Haram, who arrived in the capital, Abuja, earlier in the day. The girls were among hundreds abducted by the militant group from a school dormitory more than three years ago. A photograph of the event was posted on the president’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Buhari, left, meets with relatives of abducted girls after the releasing of 82 of the school girls on May 7.

Source: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Buhari later tweeted photos of a meeting with Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, ahead of his trip. Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan said last week he hoped the budget, a record 7.3 trillion naira ($23 billion) spending plan proposed by Buhari in December, would be ready for passage on Tuesday.

The president’s ill health has fueled concern about his ability to rule the West African nation, which is experiencing its worst economic downturn in more than two decades. Buhari, president since 2015, returned to the country on March 10 after a seven-week medical leave to treat an undisclosed ailment in the U.K., and has missed the last three weekly cabinet meetings.

The presidency released a 17-second video on May 5 showing Buhari making his first public appearance in three weeks, walking slowly after a prayer meeting at the presidential residence’s mosque. On May 2, Nigerian civil rights leaders urged the president to take a second medical leave, saying his recent absences have “fueled speculation and rumors.”

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