Nigerian president to return home Saturday after UK treatment

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari. The Nigerian leader has been receiving treatment for an unspecified illness in London since May. PHOTO FILE | NATION  

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected back in the country on Saturday after spending more than 100 days in London receiving treatment.

The President left Abuja on May 7 for the British capital to receive medical care for an undisclosed ailment.

He handed over power to his deputy Yemi Osinbajo, who has been the acting president in his absence.

"President Buhari returns to Nigeria later today, after receiving medical attention in London," the president's spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement on Saturday.

"President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7am (0600 GMT) on Monday, August 21," he said adding that the leader expressed had his appreciation for their prayer and support towards his recovery.

The president’s prolonged absence in the country was causing tensions with some calling for him to resign or return.

The 74-year-old leader took his first medical leave in Britain in January this year, which lasted nearly two months. He returned in March saying he had "never been so ill".

Last June, the president had been to London seeking treatment for what his office said was a persistent ear infection.

While in London, for his second medical leave, the president received many visitors including Mr Osinbajo, and the ruling party and opposition politicians. In most visits pictures were taken and shared with the media in an attempt to quell public anxiety over his health.

Others who visited the president include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and renowned Nigerian pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

The news of Mr Buhari’s return has elicited plenty of reaction on social media with some Nigerians thanking God for sparing the life of their president.

Others have castigated those who had been calling for his resignation.

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