President Muhammadu Buhari returned to the country yesterday after almost 50 days of medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
His return ended weeks of speculation about his health and life but sparked another.
His remarks at the Presidential Villa during a brief reception have created the impression that he hurried back from London to avoid a Constitutional impasse that would have arisen if he had used up his vacation.
He said in the statement: “I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the Vice President will continue and I will continue to rest,” Buhari said at the presidential villa. “All I need is to do further follow-ups within some weeks.”
The full text of his prepared address reads:
“I am deeply grateful to all Nigerians – Muslims and Christians alike who have prayed and are continuing to pray for my good health. This is a testimony that in spite of the hardship being experienced, Nigerians support the Government in its effort to tackle our country’s challenges.
“The best way for me to repay you all is to re-dedicate myself to serving you, protecting your interests and keeping your trust. I thank you very much.
“There may, however, be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks.
“Rather than sending delegation upon delegation to Abuja to welcome me, may I appeal to all Nigerians to continue to pray for our country’s unity, progress and prosperity.”
“I thank you very much and may God bless our Country,’’
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, cabinet ministers, service chiefs, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, received Buhari on arrival at the villa.
Shortly afterwards Mr Femi Adesina, the media adviser said on his Twitter handle that Buhari would on Monday write to the Senate to formalize his return.
He said: “PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) will on Monday transmit letter to National Assembly on his return to the country. That makes his return to work formal and constitutional.’’
Adesina’s also debunked some reports indicating that the President has asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to continue to act on his behalf.
But there was however an indication to that effect, considering Buhari’s own off the cuff remarks during his arrival: “ I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the Vice-President will continue and I will continue to rest”
Meanwhile the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has expressed happiness over President Muhammadu Buhari’s return after weeks on medical vacation.
The CNPP also urged the President to ensure he puts measures in place to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary citizens.
According to a statement by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the celebration at the news of his return in many parts of the country is an indication that the people are optimistic that he will deliver on his campaign promises.
“As we join them to welcome Mr. President, he must not fail to meet their yearnings. The Nigerian people are full of expectations. It can be seen from the number of Nigerians who prayed for his recovery.
“The CNPP welcomes Mr. President back to his duty post. It is time to work to overcome the current recession”, the CNPP said