By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
After a 77-day absence, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed medical ailment in the United Kingdom, Sunday met with governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and party leaders in London.
His meeting with the party chieftains, presidency sources confirmed to THISDAY Sunday night, was an affirmation of his recovery and that the president would return to the country very soon, possibly before August or sometime in August.
The governors, according to a statement Sunday by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was in the delegation that met with Buhari, told him on the phone that the president was very cheerful and had not lost his sense of humour.
He said Okorocha also told him that the party’s delegation spent more than an hour with Buhari during lunch, and it was very clear from the discussions with him that he had followed developments at home very closely.
He also said Okorocha disclosed that the president was delighted to receive the delegation and asked each governor about events in his state, while specifically asking the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi about the state of the railways.
He further said that when they asked him to react to the negative things being bandied about him, the president laughed, describing such reports as lies. Adesina said Okorocha observed that “President Buhari was completely unperturbed by the cocktail of lies. He, instead, sent his best wishes to Nigerians”.
“According to the governor, Nigerians don’t have to worry at all, adding that President Buhari will be back as soon as the doctors give him the green light,” Adesina said.
“By our visit to London today, the merchants of lies have been put out of business and Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling. All those who look up to fake news can find a better use for their time,” Okorocha was quoted as saying.
He listed those in the delegation to include Governors Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa; Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna; Yahaya Bello of Kogi; and the APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun.
Buhari departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom (UK) on his second medical trip this year on May 7 immediately after receiving the 83 Chibok secondary schoolgirls who had been released from captivity by Boko Haram.
Other than a Sallah message that was broadcast in the Hausa language to mark the end of the Muslim Ramadan fast, the president has not been seen since his departure 77 days ago.
The statement from Adesina was silent on when the president would return, but presidency sources informed THISDAY that he was recovering from the medical procedure that he underwent and would be back to the country very soon.
“The president is recovering very quickly from the procedure that he underwent. His doctors are just watching him and ensuring that he recovers his strength and puts on a bit of weight, after which he will be given the all clear to return home. It is hoped that he will make it back before August, or the latest sometime in August,” said a source last night.