Why Buhari was absent at FEC meeting —Minister

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari was absent from the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, thus raising fresh concerns about his state of health.

He was in his residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, leaving Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to preside over the meeting.

The Federal Government, however, assured that there was no problem, as Buhari was attending to other issues.

The Presidency had previously said the president was working from the house when reports first emerged weeks ago that he had scaled down his activities due to ill-health.

Briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Buhari did not attend the FEC meeting because he was attending to other issues.

“Clearly, when we came in this morning, the president was not in the chambers, but the vice president did preside over the council meeting.

“Understandably, that has sparked a lot of controversies and imputations in the minds of people.

“I just want to make this clear, the president is in town, he is attending to other issues. He looked at the agenda, it was very light and decided that the vice president should preside.

“It is not unusual for the kind of interest that is shown, especially given the fact that the president was away for a while on medical treatment. We are not surprised that people will be wondering is he ill again?

“He is not ill, he is not sick. I am sure that later in the day or tomorrow morning, he will be back in the office. I just want to clear the misconception.

“It is not unusual even if the president is hale and hearty and everything is going on well for the vice president to preside over meetings of the FEC.

“The fact that he is not in the office does not mean he is not working.

“I have just been told now that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is with him in his residence, working,” he said.