Barring any last minute change of decision, President Muhammadu Buhari will return from the United Kingdom next week, top government sources told our reporter last night.Federal Government’s sources, who preferred anonymity however, did not give a specific date the president would return within next week.
The sources spoke barely few hours after presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina told newsmen that he had no information about when Buhari will return.
President Buhari has been in the UK since May 7 on medical vacation.
One of the sources said: “We have been told to be on a standby for the return of Mr President next week. Everything is in place now for that.”
Another source stated: “We are very very hopeful that Mr President will come back to Nigeria next week. This is the only thing I can tell you for now.”
Adesina yesterday told State House correspondents that the Presidency did not have information on exactly when Buhari would return to Nigeria.
“If anybody is giving a timeline, that person might have information that we don’t have yet. But the information at our disposal is that the president will return as soon as his doctors give him the go ahead,” Adesina said.
I will not return now – Buhari
Also in a statement earlier yesterday, Adesina had quoted Buhari to have told the president of Guinea, Alpha Conde that he would not return to the country now until his doctors advised him to do so, even as seven state governors have travelled to the United Kingdom to meet him.
President Buhari, who has so far spent 79 days in London receiving treatment for undisclosed ailments, however, said he was making good progress.
Adesina quoted Buhari as saying this in a letter dated July 24 written to thank the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, for the nationwide prayers held last week by Guineans for his recovery.
“I thank you for your kind and thoughtful action in organising nationwide prayers for my good health. It is a gesture that I will forever cherish and treasure,” Adesina quoted Buhari as saying.
“Your Excellency will be pleased to hear that I am making good progress, and as soon as doctors advice, I shall return to my duties and continue serving the Nigerian people who elected me and are daily praying for my recovery.”
Adesina said Buhari had, in an earlier letter, also accepted his nomination as leader of the “2018 AU Theme on the Fight Against Corruption,” which came from African leaders at the 29th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 4, 2017.
Leading the governors’ delegation to London, is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State. Other governors on the delegation are Kashim Shettima (Borno), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Udom Gabriel Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu told journalists yesterday that the delegation will meet the president at 3:00 pm today.
He explained that the governors’ mission to London was solely to convey the goodwill of Nigerians to the president.
“The visit is a goodwill visit and there is nothing more than that. I believe Nigerians in various position have yearned to go and meet the president and at some point, this obviously has not been permitted. But given the change in circumstances, you can see that is coming from London itself and from the president is welcoming,” he said.
On why another set of governors were visiting Buhari after some members of the governors’ forum had earlier visited him at the weekend, Shehu said: “You will notice that those that went at the weekend are members of All Progressive Congress (APC), so those who are going now is on a broader platform which is the Nigerian Governors Forum.”
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