President Muhammadu Buhari is expected back in Nigeria today, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Sources within the presidency say the president is likely to be in the State Capital just before nightfall.
The President departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom on July 26 to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
His special media aide, Femi Adesina had issued a statement suggesting that after the event, President Buhari would spend a few days in the United Kingdom for an earlier scheduled medical check-up.
In the weeks he spent in the UK, the president met and played host to various dignitaries including the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who assured that the UK is available to assist Nigeria in its war against terrorism.
One other very significant meeting was that of Buhari and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu in London.
Its import is occasioned by the recent crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), where some aggrieved members are seeking to oust the caretaker national leadership of the APC, led by Mai Mala Buni.
President Buhari had reportedly asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter.
Also prior to their brief get-together, Tinubu had been away from the country for some undisclosed reasons, stirring speculations about his health.
President Buhari’s latest trip to the UK did not come without varied debates and criticisms as regards medical tourism and the state of the Nigerian health sector.
With reference to his earlier visit to the UK this year for what is termed a “routine” check-up, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was of the opinion that it is appalling that the president would deploy the nation’s resources to travel for his private medicals while other Nigerians are left to be treated in various dilapidated hospitals across the country.
“It is disheartening that while Mr. President is spending taxpayers’ money relishing the expertise of London doctors and the luxury of medical facilities in that country, millions of Nigerians are dying in decrepit medical facilities at home.” A PDP communique partly reads.
In defense of his principal, Femi Adesina, the special adviser said “President Buhari has been with the same doctors and medical team for upward of 40 years,” adding that “It is advisable that he continues with that who knows his medical history and that is why he comes to London to see them. He has used the same medical team for over 40 years. Once you can afford it, then stay with the team that has your history.”
As regards piloting the nation’s affairs from the United Kingdom, the presidential spokesman said there is no vacuum within the seat of power.
He explained that the Constitution empowers Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to act as President if President Buhari is not back to the country within 21 days.
The President’s latest trip has only lasted for 18 days, and he is expected to continue piloting the country’s affairs when he lands at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, later today.
One of the first issues the president is likely to tend to will be the strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
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