Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, phoned into Lagos Talk Radio on Tuesday morning.
The subject? You guessed right: the health of a President who embarked on a 10-day vacation last month and sought for an extension last Sunday.
These are 10 things Adesina wants everyone to know about what has become of the nation’s number one citizen in a London apartment…
1. Routine medical check-ups began really late
When Buhari was leaving Nigeria for the UK, the official statement on his trip stated that he was going to use the period of his vacation to undergo routine medical checkups.
Adesina said nothing has changed, except that the check-ups didn’t commence until very late into the President’s vacation.
Here’s Adesina: “What I can tell you is that the checks themselves started quite late. He got there..note that the order of statements when he was leaving is that he’s going on vacation and then he’ll do medical check-ups. We said the purpose of the trip was to rest and then he’ll do routine checks.
“Those checks started very late into the day. And when they couldn’t conclude all the checks and the results, they then said instead of you going home now and having to come back, why don’t you wait for a little while more?
“When I say a little while more, I’m choosing my words deliberately.
“You know, when a 74-year-old man does tests, they’ll do it comprehensively. So, that’s what they are doing. And if there’s a course of treatment recommended, they can start immediately. And you know when you start some course of treatment, you need to complete it”.
2. The President’s course of treatment doesn’t include a surgical operation
“To the best of my knowledge, the course of treatment doesn’t include surgery”, Adesina said before adding that; “I do not know. I can only say things I am privy to”.
3. The head of the cabal in the Presidency isn’t in London with Buhari
There’s a guy called Mamman Daura within the Presidency.
He has no official position to his name, but legend has it that he calls the shots within the Buhari administration.
Adesina was asked if Daura is by the President’s bedside where he’s been his entire life.
According to Adesina, “I’ll tell you the people that are with him. He has his ADC, his Chief Security Officer, his chief of protocol and his personal physician. These are people I talk with every day.
“I don’t know if Mamman Daura is there. He doesn’t serve in government. I can talk about those who serve in government that I saw off at the airport. His wife went, stayed some days and as we speak, she’s at Umrah (lesser hajj).
4. If Buhari were critically ill, his wife won’t abandon him in London for lesser hajj
“If it was a matter of life and death, do you think she (Aisha Buhari) will go to Umrah? I’m sure the average woman would prefer to stay with her husband.
“Because she has seen that there’s nothing to worry about, she went to Umrah”.
5. Buhari can still speak, thank goodness
“Of course he can speak. The Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) said he spoke with him for a long while yesterday”, the President’s spokesperson said.
6. But the President’s spokesperson hasn’t spoken with the President
Like, who would have guessed that?
“I have not spoken to him directly”, Adesina confessed. “He was to speak with me last night, I was already put on standby that the President would speak to me last night. The call eventually did not come.
“But his SA (Special Adviser) Domestic spoke with me and said Mr. President will speak with me later tonight. It did not come.
“So maybe he slept off or something. But I don’t even need him to speak to me. Because I don’t need to authenticate that he’s well or is alive. I speak with people there every day and they tell me how Mr. President is. So, I don’t need any authentication”.
7. There’s no law that makes it compulsory for Buhari to address anyone via technology
That’s according to Adesina.
“You talked about tension in the country (due to the President’s absence). It’s a contrived tension.
“And those who contrived it, know why they contrived it. Now, when a President has been contrived deliberately, maliciously and mischievously, you know that the object of that contrived tension may now say, ‘Ok, is that how they want to play it? Let them continue’.
“There’s no law that makes it mandatory for him to address anybody. He left the country, you saw him walk into his plane, and he told you the day he’ll be back. That day had not even elapsed when all sorts of theories, rumours and conjectures began flying all over the place”.
8. Buhari will be back in Nigeria soon and certain persons would be left shell-shocked
“Now, the President has asked for an extension and what I want to say now with all sense of responsibility is that the President will be back in this country, sooner than people expect”, Adesina said.
9. Nigeria is owing Buhari some leave days
“Even as President, I’m sure that he’s subject to the rules of public service and is entitled to vacation in a year”, said Adesina.
“Last year, I think he took six days, he took ten days…even the leave off last year has not been exhausted, not to talk of the leave of this year. The country is even owing the President many days of vacation”.
10. Be ready for the surprise of your lives
“I have seen malicious stories saying the President will be away for four months and some people may have tended to believe the story. That is why I said earlier than some people expect.
“It won’t get anywhere near four months. A lot of people are going to be pleasantly surprised when they see the President”, Adesina added.