The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says all that President Buhari needs from Nigerians is prayer.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Adesina said via the telephone that knowing the actual health condition the President has been treating is not compulsory for Nigerians to pray for him.
He had few hours earlier released a statement announcing the President’s request to have his vacation extended as advised by his doctors to enable him receive the results of series of tests carried out on him.
Mr Adesina insisted that the reason for the extension was not more than he had stated in his statement.
He called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the President rather than allowing the latest news sway them into believing recent rumours that he had died.
Faced with the question that Nigerians would like to know the actual condition their president is being treated for to enable them offer prayers for him, Adesina insisted that Nigerians can pray for him without knowing the actual health condition.
He noted that the doctor-patient confidentiality must be respected, especially as the President is known to be a straightforward person who could disclose his condition to the citizens if the need arises.
“I am sure it will get to a point when the President has to disclose the status of his health if it needs to be disclosed. If it’s something serious enough to disclose, I am sure he will disclose it,” he said.
He explained that he could not disclose the nature of health challenge the President is dealing with because he was not aware.
“The President is the one who can release his own health status.
“The day he left, we still spoke. He didn’t tell me ‘this is my condition’. He told me he was going to rest and he would do medicals and that was included in the statement we released,” he added.
Asked if he knew when the President would be returning, Adesina said: “If there was a date he would return, it would have been in that statement.
“But the issue now is (that) there is no vacuum in government. No lacuna because power has been transferred to the Vice President who is acting president.
“So, Mr President can take the time he desires and when his doctors give him a clean bill of health, he then can return home.”
President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly on Sunday, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.
The President had planned to return to Abuja on Sunday evening, but according to Adesina’s statement, he was “advised to complete the test cycle before returning”.
The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.
“Mr. President expressed his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes,” Adesina added.