On Friday, March 10, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari said he will not resume power
immediately and instead leave his deputy in
charge after returning from nearly two months’
medical leave in Britain.
A Nigerian Air Force jet carrying the 74-year-
old landed at the airport in the northern city of
Kaduna at about 07:40. He was then flown by
helicopter to Abuja.
In the capital, the head of state, looking gaunt
in a billowing black kaftan, stepped off the
helicopter and walked across the tarmac to be
greeted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He also met security chiefs and senior
government officials before being driven away
in a black official car to meet his cabinet and
officials of his ruling All Progressives Congress
At the meeting, he did not give any indication
of what illness he was suffering from but said
“I have received, I think, the best of treatment I
“I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a
young man,” he added, referring to “blood
transfusions, going to the laboratories and so
on and so forth”.
‘Pleased to be back’
But he said he was “pleased to be back”,
although he disclosed that he may need
“further follow-up within some weeks”.
Buhari’s return from London was announced on
Thursday evening and he said he “came back
towards the weekend, so that the vice
president will continue and I will continue to
No timeline was given for how long Osinbajo,
who was officially conferred powers as acting
president, would be in charge.
Former military ruler Buhari flew to London on
January 19, officially on holiday and to have
what his office said were “routine medical
check-ups” for an undisclosed condition.
But while he was away, aides had to counter
persistent rumours online that he was seriously
ill or even dead, despite photographs showing
him meeting senior Nigerian politicians.
Sensitive issue Earlier on Friday he was shown in photographs
looking painfully thin at a meeting with the
most senior cleric in the Anglican communion,
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Buhari had previously travelled to London in
June last year to receive treatment for what
was described as a persistent inner ear
He left for London again in January but on the
eve of his expected return on February 5, his
office announced he had to extend his stay to
receive medical test results.