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‘I’m okay’, says Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari after 3-month absence

 

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been in London for treatment of an undisclosed illness for more than three months, has assured a government delegation that he is doing fine.

“I am okay. I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I’ve now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed,” the 74-year-old leader said, according to a Saturday statement from the information ministry.

The comments came following protests in the capital Abuja demanding that Buhari “return or resign”.

“If President Buhari cannot return to Nigeria after 90 days, then he should resign and go home”, one protester said at a sit-in on Monday.

“Buhari, where are you? Nigerians want full disclosure. What is wrong with our president?” read other placards.

Buhari left for the British capital on May 7 on what is his latest medical trip.

He has been dogged by speculation about his health since June last year, when he went to London for the first time to be treated for what his office said was a persistent ear infection.

Buhari’s main opponents in the 2015 election that brought him to power claimed he had prostate cancer, which he denied.

The health of Nigeria’s leaders has been a sensitive issue since the death in office of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010 after months of treatment abroad.

Last month, in a letter to Guinea President Alpha Conde, Buhari said: “I am making good progress, and as soon as doctors advise, I shall return to my duties and continue serving the Nigerian people who elected me and are daily praying for my recovery.”

Amid conflicting reports on the 74-year-old’s health, his office last month released a photograph showing a smiling Buhari looking less gaunt than when he was last seen on television in Nigeria.

The picture purported to show Buhari dining in Britain with senior members of his political party. 

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