By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
About five months after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, paid a personal visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at Abuja House, London, the cleric repeated the visit yesterday.
Welby had visited Buhari on March 9, this year, in the United Kingdom’s capital, 24 hours before his departure for Nigeria during his last 50-day medical trip to the city.
Welby visiting Buhari again at the time rumours about his return are rife seems to be prophetic, thus creating the impression that his visit might have been deliberately scheduled towards the president’s departure period.
All through the week, several pieces of fake news that Buhari had either returned or was on his way circulated on social media.
A statement by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, yesterday, said Welby expressed delight at Buhari’s pace of recovery, describing it as a testimony to God’s healing power.
Adesina who said both the Archbishop and Buhari were friends, who shared deep respect for each other, added that the president remarked that Welby had always stood by him in critical times and wished him well in his spiritual calling.
The Presidential spokesman said: “Archbishop Welby said he was delighted to see the rapid recovery President Buhari had made from his health challenges, noting that it was a testimony to the healing powers of God, and answer to prayers of millions of people round the world. The cleric pledged to continue praying for both President Buhari and Nigeria.
“In his response, the Nigerian President thanked Archbishop Welby, whom he noted had always stood by him at critical times, and wished him God’s continued grace in his spiritual duty of leading the Anglican Communion worldwide.
“It will be recalled that when former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described Nigeria as a ‘fantastically corrupt’ country ahead of an anti-corruption summit in London in 2016, Archbishop Welby had retorted: ‘But this particular President (Buhari) is actually not corrupt.’
“The Archbishop later personally received the Nigerian President at Lambert Palace, London, and had also paid a goodwill visit to President Buhari in March this year, during his medical vacation.”