President Muhammudu Buhari who succeeded President Goodluck Jonathan in the December 2014 elections, has been in London since early January 2017 in seek of medical attention. In his absence, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has governed the country.
The Independent UK has reported that the president originally travelled to London for a two-week vacation, which was subsequently extended for medical tests to be run on the 74-year-old president. While the government continues to assure the nation of the positive state of the president’s health, concerns continue to mount with fears that the prolonged delay of his return signal ill health.
On Sunday however, President Buhari is reported to have called governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi to thank him for his support and his leadership. Media reports followed that he had however still not been cleared by medical practitioners to return to the country.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest economy, is reported to be experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades with protests, high unemployment rates and corruption. According to UNICEF, severe famine and malnutrition have struck countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
Well wishes on the other hand have also been extended to the president of which most recently, The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will be holding a three-day prayer for the president’s recovery and return.
The absence of President Buhari is not the first of it’s nature or the country has experienced. In 2009, then-President Umaru Yar’Adua travelled to Saudi Arabia for medical reasons and subsequently returned home and died. During his prolonged absence, protests were held as the lack of leadership was called into question.