Ailing Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday said he is yet to return to the country because his doctors have not given the go ahead to do so.
“I’ve learnt to obey my doctor’s orders, rather than be the one issuing the orders,” Buhari told a delegation of visiting aides at the Abuja House in London. “Here, the doctor is absolutely in charge.”
One of his aides who visited him said the 74-year old president was in good spirit. “Glad to see PMB in very high spirits. And full of his usual humour,” tweeted Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who is Buhari’s senior adviser on foreign affairs and diaspora.
Others who visited him included Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed, spokesmen Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, and his personal assistant on social media Lauretta Onochie.
The president left Nigeria on May 7 for London for a second of treatment for an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the most populous African country.
He had earlier left Nigeria on January 19 for London to “undergo routine medical check-ups” during a short holiday. He only returned on March 10 after an extended period of medical treatment.
He tacitly acknowledged that he was very ill, telling his cabinet members that “I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man.” He also said he had “blood transfusions, going to the laboratories and so on and so forth”.
His absence in Nigeria since May 7 has birthed rounds of protests and calls for him to resign. But much like his aides, Buhari has consistently said he would only return to Nigeria on the instruction of his doctors.
“I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I’ve now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed,” he told his aides on Saturday, his spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement.