ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned home yesterday from three months of medical leave in Britain where he received treatment for an unspecified ailment.
Buhari’s leave, which began on May 7 and was his second this year, left many in Nigeria questioning whether he was well enough to run the country. The refusal of officials to disclose the nature of the ailment has led to speculation about the illness.
Dressed in a dark kaftan and Muslim prayer hat, the 74-year-old Buhari walked unaided from his plane – holding rails on either side of him – after it landed at the international airport in the capital, Abuja.
He was greeted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has acted as interim leader, and was accorded a military salute. He made no statement and immediately travelled to the presidential villa.
Buhari, who took office in May 2015, handed over power to Osinbajo in his absence to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa’s biggest economy.
“President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 am (0600 GMT) on Monday, Aug. 21,” his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said in a statement yesterday.
Buhari’s absence sparked numerous protests, including demands that Buhari should resign, as well as calls for more transparency about the president’s condition.