Again, Buhari Absent at Juma’at Prayers

Omololu Ogunmade in Absence

Twenty-four hours after the Presidency said nothing called for apprehension on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ill health, the president in an unusual manner, could not make it to Juma’at prayers in the Presidential Villa’s mosque on Friday.

The president has not attended the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting since April 12, thus creating apprehension in the polity about his state of health. 
But Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Thursday, said his absence at last Wednesday’s FEC meeting was a last minute decision.
According to him, the last minute change of mind was sequel to his doctors’ advice “to take things slowly” as he goes through the process of recovery, after a “long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago”.
Therefore, the president’s unusual absence at the mosque for Juma’at prayers on Friday might further be explained by his aides as part of the president’s observance of his doctors’ advice.
Shehu had, in the statement, said that whereas it is the desire of the president to be up and about, he must heed his doctors’ counsel, arguing that full recovery could sometimes be a slow process which he said might require periods of rest and relaxation as disclosed by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday.
“Despite his lack of visibility, Nigerians should be rest assured that President Buhari has not abdicated his role as Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria. He receives daily briefings on the activities of government, and confers regularly with his Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.  His private residence, in which he has been spending the majority of his time recently, also has a fully equipped office. 
“God is the giver of life and health. We are grateful that He has seen our President through the worst period of his convalescence in London. We are thankful that the President has passed a number of benchmarks already. We pray that God continues to see him through this period,” the statement added.