President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday departed Abuja for London, the United Kingdom on yet another medical trip.
This is just as the Peoples Democratic Party alleged that the President is unfit to continue in office.
Buhari was accompanied to the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,
Abuja, by some top government officials and presidential aides.
The President’s security officials and a few close aides accompanied him on the trip.
The presidential aircraft marked 5N-FGW which conveyed the
President left the airport at about 3.20pm.
Those who saw the President off to the airport included his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari;
the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Muhammad Bello,
and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu,
had in a statement on Monday, announced that Buhari would on
Tuesday embark on a four-day medical trip to the UK.
Shehu had said the President would return to the country on Saturday.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow
(Tuesday) undertake a four-day trip to the United Kingdom.
“In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back
from Washington last week, the President had a meeting with his doctor.
“The doctor requested the President to return for a meeting which he agreed to do.
“President Buhari will return on Saturday, May 12th.
Buhari had on many occasions travelled abroad for medical reasons.
He returned to the country on March 10, 2017, after a 49-day medical sojourn,
saying he had never been that sick in his life.
He then gave an indication that he would return to London for further checkup.
Buhari, on May 7, 2017, travelled back to London for medical consultation
only to return to the country on August 19, 2017.
However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan,
who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday,
wondered why the Presidency was shrouding the health of the President in secrecy.
“The Peoples Democratic Party notes the confirmation of the Presidency that
President Muhammadu Buhari is unwell, ailing and unfit to attend to state matters,
resulting to his latest journey to the United Kingdom for medical attention.
“This admission, though belated and coming after intense public pressure,
has now put to rest speculations and anxiety on the health status of the President,
as well as his attendant inability to effectively govern.
“It is, however, very unfortunate that the President and his handlers had chosen to shroud
the issue of his persistent illness in secrecy in a government that prides
itself on claims of transparency and integrity.”
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP had in April, shortly before the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting, the President undertook a private visit to the UK,
where his doctors reside.
He said that the President was there five days ahead of CHOGM,
without telling Nigerians his itinerary.
He added that two days after his departure from the United States where he had gone for a state visit,
the President went ‘missing.’
Ologbondiyan said, “When concerns began to mount on his whereabouts,
the Presidency claimed he had a ‘technical stop-over’ in the UK, citing flight issues.
“But later, revelations emerged from the same Presidency, on Monday,
that Mr. President was actually in the UK to see his doctors.”
Ologbondiyan, however, decried the situation whereby
‘Nigerians are not aware of the ailment our President is suffering from and the
identity of the doctors and the hospital attending to him.’
He knocked the President for embarking on medical tourism abroad when his
administration had completely refused to address the poor state of the health
sector in Nigeria, for which medical workers are currently on strike across the nation.