Nigeria’s Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the ailment that forced President Muhammad Buhari to take over 100 days sick leave this year in the United Kingdom is a personal matter.
“I think he is the only one that is at liberty to disclose what is wrong with him,” Lai told the BBC. He further disclosed that he did not even want to know what condition it was. “I don’t even want to know, I don’t want to know because it is a very personal issue.”
When pushed about Buhari being a public figure and thus the need for disclosure, Lai said: “I think even as a president you are entitled to your privacy once in a while and i think there is nothing more private than the state of health of a person.”
I think even as a president you are entitled to your privacy once in a while and i think there is nothing more private than the state of health of a person.
The Minister said there was no cause for alarm on the political or economic fronts in Buhari’s absence because he had properly handed over power to his deputy. Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo worked as Acting President for the two times that Buhari was away on medical leave.
Buhari, 74, is said to have fully recovered from the undisclosed illness and is back at work. He chaired the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday after returning from the United Nations General Assembly held in New York.
He stopped over in the London on his way back home for what the presidency said was a medical checkup. The last known medical condition he sought treatment for was an ear infection sometime last year.
The political stakes of his condition are high given that the country goes to the polls in 2019. It is yet to be known whether he will contest. A minister recently said Buhari had before his election in 2015 assured party faithful that he wanted only a term in office.