JUST IN: Buhari returns to Abuja from London

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has arrived in Abuja from London, the United Kingdom, where he had been undergoing dental treatment in the past week.

The Gulfstream jet conveying Buhari taxied to the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

On April 30, The PUNCH reports that the President’s NAF 001 carrier had been flown to Boeing’s maintenance, repair and overhaul site in Seattle, USA, for a heavy maintenance visit or D Check.

In the past two weeks, the Nigerian leader has been flown on another aircraft on the Presidential Air Fleet including his trip on May 3, where he joined other world leaders in London for the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla.

Although the trip was scheduled to last five days, the Presidency announced that Buhari’s stay was extended by one week for dental treatment.

He “will remain in London, the United Kingdom, for an additional week, based on the advice of his dentist, who has started attending to him,” a statement signed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, revealed late Tuesday, May 9.

So far he has spent at least 232 days on medical trips since assuming office in 2015.

On February 5, 2016, eight months after assuming office, the President embarked on his first medical trip to London, the United Kingdom, spending six days between February 5 and 10.

Buhari’s second medical trip would follow four months later on June 6, 2016, where he spent 10 days treating an undisclosed ear infection after which he rested for three extra days before returning on June 19, 2016.

On January 19, 2017, the President departed for his second-longest medical trip. He returned to Abuja on March 10, 2017, spending 50 days away.

In May of the same year, the president departed for London for his longest medical pilgrimage lasting 104 days.

The President would not visit London for another medical checkup until a year later in May 2018 when he spent four days on “medical review.”

In late March 2021, Buhari departed for London again for a “routine medical check-up,” that lasted 15 days.

His trip came amid a labour crisis in the health sector which saw members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors commencing on an indefinite strike over unpaid allowance.

On March 6, 2022, the President jetted out to London for a two-week medical trip which lasted 12 days.

Earlier, Buhari was scheduled to visit London from Nairobi, Kenya where he was attending the United Nations Environmental Programme at 50.

He, however, returned to Nigeria on Friday, March 4, but departed for London on Sunday, March 6.

Earlier, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had announced that Buhari would proceed to London from Kenya for “routine medical checks that will last for a maximum of two weeks.”

On October 31, 2022, the President departed Owerri, the Imo state capital for London for another medical checkup lasting about two weeks. He returned to the country on November 13, 2022.

The President’s Spokesman had defended Buhari’s medical trips abroad saying he “has used the same medical team for about 40 years.”

Adesina also argues that it is advisable that the President sticks with a team that has his medical history.

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