Â â€¢ Stays back in London to regain strength and weight
By Olawale Olaleye
Though fully recovered, President Muhammadu Buhari is staying back in London to regain physical strength and weight before he will return home to resume duties, a THISDAY source saidÂ Sunday.
The source, who was one of the governors that visited the president last week at the Abuja House, London, said Buhari needed to stay back and be fit enough before returning to the country in order to prevent a recurrence of what happened in March 2017 when he returned from his second medical trip abroad but was unable to resume duties and appear at public functions for weeks.
According to the governor, â€œThe truth is that the president is in a very fit state of mind. His sense of humour is back and the rate of recollection is encouraging with a very keen presence of mind. But I think the reason he has been asked to stay behind is to observe sufficient rest to be able to regain some more physical strength, away from his present gaunt look.
â€œYou know, the problem is that the last time he was home, he barely attended public functions, including the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting as well as theÂ FridayÂ Juâ€™mat service, which he had been attending before he stopped showing presence. That created a lot of controversy as members of the public were genuinely worried.
â€œIf you see him now, although he is still very lean and gaunt but sharp and smart, I mean, for his age. However, if he comes back now, he might still be staying back in the house and avoiding public functions. That again will elicit anxiety amongst the Nigerian people, so, he would take sufficient rest and return when he is certified fit to go home by his doctors.â€
The governor, who was excited about the rate of recovery of the president, said the most elating thing about Buhariâ€™s health was that he had regained serious recollection with an intense presence of mind, such that he dismissed swirling insinuations about his poor health status.
According to the governor, some of the undisclosed reports on the health of the president had claimed that he had begun to suffer memory loss and was difficult to communicate with, a development that was believed to have been shielded from members of the public, including the actual nature of his illness.
He said: â€œHonestly, for me, my worries had been compounded by the fact of the report that he had begun to suffer memory loss. Although we could not confirm that story, all I was thinking about was that if there was an iota of truth in the story, then we would be in a very serious trouble as some people could seize power on his behalf.
â€œWe could have a situation where they would permanently keep him away from everyone and be dishing out instructions and orders on his behalf and we would be unable to ascertain whether or not those were coming from him. So, I had been worried until I saw him in London, established old discussions with him and he recalled everything to my fascination.
â€œHe could almost tell you word for word what you had discussed with him back then. It appears the older he gets, the better his sense of humour. Trust me on this â€“ I am very happy for him and the country. The president is very well now and fit. But he is not coming anytime soon as some people are saying, but talks about him being on life support and about to die are all made up to overheat the polity.â€
He, however, hinted that the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would start to carry out some more serious assignments now, albeit on the instructions of the president, adding that attempts by some to unsettle the polity through insinuations on who is in charge would be put to rest with some of the decisions of the presidency in the days ahead.
â€œJust watch out. The acting president will start carrying out some functions of the office of the president to further ease administrative bottlenecks, calm nerves and allay unfounded fears. The truth is that the presidency is one and the same and the ploy by some fifth columnists to create avoidable gulf has already been defeated by the unbreakable chemistry between the president and his deputy. What we have is the Muhammadu Buhari presidency and it is living up to expectations,â€ he said.