The “hale and hearty” Nigerian President who has been “resting” in London since January 19 is really “hale and hearty”, Katsina state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, said on Monday, warning mischief makers to have a change of mind.
The Presidency had said on Saturday that Mr. Buhari placed a call from the United Kingdom to Mr. Masari who is his state governor.
On Monday, Mr. Masari spoke with the Voice of America, VOA, Hausa language, and insisted that the President was ” hale and hearty”.
‘’On Saturday, I spoke with the president on phone, he is hale and hearty. All those castigating rumors on the health condition of the president should think twice and change their mindset,” he said.
‘’The president is on vacation for medical check-up which is in line with the Nigerian constitution where he assigned all the responsibility to his vice at full autonomy pending when he comes back.
‘’Therefore, the president did not break any law by leaving for medical vacation. Last Wednesday, I called the Emir of Daura and that of Katsina directing them to engage in special prayers for the president, which they did during Friday session prayers.
“We will not stop praying for the president, we shall keep praying till Almighty Allah answers our prayers. Praying for a leader is a mandate to every Nigerian irrespective of religion. Both scriptures direct us to pray for our leaders.”
Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina state governor
Mr. Buhari had earlier called the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and the Emir of Katsina.
Mr. Buhari left Nigeria on January 19, officially for a vacation and some routine medical check ups. He promised to resume work on February 6. But on February 5, he wrote the National Assembly again, extending his sick leave indefinitely.
Rumours spread before and after then that he was either dead or incapacitated.
But the Presidency pushed back against such rumours, warning those behind them that they would be prosecuted.
Mr. Buhari in photographs has since then been seen with dignitaries and even took a call from President Donald Trump.
However, Nigerians have insisted that he should speak directly to them to finally disprove claims that he can no longer come back and lead a country in recession again.
Mr. Buhari seems to have rejected those calls and decided to calls his close aides and friends.