THERE were indications last night that the Presidential Villa was preparing for the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from his medical vacation in the United Kingdom as it is expected that he will return any time from now.
Even though the Presidency neither confirmed nor denied the impending arrival, Saturday Tribune gathered that it may happen soon as aides of the president have been “placed on standby” for his arrival.
The president left the country on Thursday January 19, 2017 to the United Kingdom for what was initially announced to be a 10-day vacation and was due back in Abuja on Sunday February, 5, 2017 to resume work on Monday February 6, 2017.
However, at the end of the 10 days, he wrote to the National Assembly to intimate the lawmakers that he had decided to extend his vacation to enable him to complete his cycle of medical tests and obtain the results.
He has apparently now completed it and is primed to return home, going by preparations noticed at the Presidential Villa on Friday.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, declined to confirm the story, only referring inquiries to the protocol department of the villa which he said was charged with making such arrangements.
“Get across to Protocol. They are the ones responsible for such matters,” he told Saturday Tribune when contacted on Friday.
However, the speculation about his possible return was accentuated on Friday by SaharaReporters, an online news outlet, that reported that his test results had returned “fine” verdict, causing his inner caucus to press for his early return to Abuja.
The report also suggested that his doctors did not think that the president was in good enough condition to return to Nigeria now to confront the rigours of his office.
Buhari’s trip to the United Kingdom and his health status led to speculations, including that he may have died. His health may have greatly deteriorated.
State governors were also rumoured to have made plans to meet on how to visit him but this was shot down by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who said governors never scheduled a meeting over the president talk less of visiting him in London.
This was followed by photographs soon afterwards showing him apparently in his London living room with Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, a former female senator and an unidentified man.
Mores shots emanating from the Office of the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, showed herself and her husband in a room at a location presented as his holiday abode.
Nigerians, who had taken to the social media with rumours of his worsening health condition, demanded that the Presidency proved otherwise by getting him to address the nation through video.
Only last Thursday, the Presidency also released photographs which showed the president playing host to All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders, including Senator Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande in his residence in London.
Ostensibly still in an effort to prove that he was doing well, the pictures were published in its official twitter handle “@MBuhari,” with one showing the president and Tinubu sitting on the same couch, while Akande sat on a different one.
Dressed in a brown caftan and a white cap, the president appeared to be engaged in a discussion with his visitors.
The tweet stated: “President @MBuhari currently receiving party leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in Abuja House, London.”