President Muhammadu Buhari has met leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in London, the Presidency said on Sunday, the first time the Nigerian leader was meeting with his party leadership since he left for medical treatment on May 7.
In a statement, the Presidency quoted Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state as detailing in a telephone conversation what transpired between the President and APC leaders in London.
Pressure had been mounting in recent weeks to declare the President incapacitated and the meeting in London, some might argue, could have been a way of averting that move.
“In a telephone conversation following the meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and leaders with President Muhammadu Buhari in London Sunday, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, said the President was very cheerful and has not lost any bit of his sense of humour,” the presidency said.
It quoted the governor as saying that “the party delegation spent more than an hour with President Buhari over lunch, and it was very clear from the discussions that he followed developments at home very closely”.
He said the President was delighted to receive the delegation and asked each governor about affairs in his state. He also asked the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, about the state of the railways, the Presidency said.
“When asked to react to all the negative things being said about him, the President just laughed, describing such negative reports as lies. Governor Okorocha said President Buhari was completely unperturbed by the cocktail of lies. He, instead, sent his best wishes to Nigerians,” the statement by Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina added.
According to the governor, Nigerians don’t have to worry at all, adding that President Buhari will be back as soon as the doctors give him the green light.
“By our visit to London today, the merchants of lies have been put out of business and Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling. All those who look up to fake news can find better use for their time,” Governor Okorocha noted.
The Presidency provided one picture of the meeting, warning “The photograph is provided by the STATE HOUSE as reference material (for media houses and subjects or organization being photographed) and for Official purposes only. It may be used by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use but is not to be printed without a written permission from the Photographer/Statehouse. The photograph may not be used for commercial purposes, and may not be manipulated in any way or otherwise reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the STATE HOUSE”.
Governors Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa; Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna; Yahaya Bello of Kogi; and APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, were also in the delegation.