Buhari’s Been Working Non-stop For 8 Months, He Needs To Rest – Presidency

The two spokesmen for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu (l) and Femi Adesina pictured at the United National General Assembly in September 2015 | Facebook

The Presidency has debunked insinuations from several quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari is ill and hence has taken an emergency leave to attend to his health in London.

On a TV appearance on Monday, February 8, 2016, Femi Adesina, a spokesman of the President dismissed reports of Buhari’s ill health and said that he merely needed to rest after working non-stop for 8 months. He stressed that Buhari was “human” and that “any man can fall sick, old or young” but made sure to emphasise that the President was not sick.

Adesina maintained that Nigerians have been “lied to for too long” and as such believe that they are always being lied to. He defended the Buhari’s leave and said that he did it “properly” and handed over to his vice president.

“Any man can fall sick, old or young, but the president is not sick, the president is well,” Adesina told the anchor of Politics Today on Channels TV. “The president has worked for more than eight months non-stop, and he felt it was time to take a respite and he asked for six days leave and he did it the proper way. He communicated it to the national assembly, handed over power to his deputy and nothing is wrong with that.”

In response to questioning on the sudden nature of the announcement of the President’s vacation, Adesina replied. “Do you go on vacation because you are sick? You need respite from time to time and when you think it is time for respite, you take it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his state of health.

“Nigerians have been lied to for so long that they are now finding it difficult to believe the truth and that is the problem. You have told the truth yet they did not believe it because they have a carry-over of those who have lied to them for many decades but this government will not lie; it will tell the truth.”

The President’s spokesman also defended his frequent foreign trips and dismissed criticisms that the trips were not yielding positive results. “He went to Chad; he went to Niger; he was to go to Cameroon but then the G7 invited him to Germany and what were those trips about? Security,” he said.

“They invited him to brief them on the security situation in Nigeria. Those trips were about Nigeria’s interest. When he assumed office in May last year, there were a minimum of 20 local governments in custody of Boko Haram, local governments where they had hoisted their flags, where they had declared their caliphate.

“Now, today, not a single local government is under their territory. The governor of Borno state still reiterated it today. He didn’t do that by sitting pretty on his seat. He needed to build a coalition to form a regional force, which has been done, to battle insurgency.

“Don’t also forget that our president is so much in demand. In September last year when he went for the UN General Assembly, the envoy of the UN said there were about 23 requests from foreign leaders to speak with our president; he could only oblige eight of them.”

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