Two months after President Muhammadu Buhari returned from the longest medical vacation by any serving Nigerian head of state, he has not stepped into his main office, TheCable can report.
Since his return from the UK on August 19, Buhari has been making use of two offices — one in his residence at the presidential villa and the other at the presidential banquet hall.
In August, Garba Shehu, his spokesman, had said the office was undergoing renovation because of “devastation by rodents”.
“Following the three-month period of disuse, rodents have caused a lot of damage to the furniture and the air conditioning units,” he had said in a statement.
Shehu’s statement irked some Nigerians who concluded that the president had not fully recovered.
But it has now emerged that Buhari may not step into the office anytime soon.
“The rats story was a decoy,” a security source told TheCable.
“It is now very clear that anytime he returns to the main office, things get worse for him, health-wise. So he has to avoid the office for as long as he can.”
Buhari has been receiving visitors in other offices
The source said back in March when the president went for his first medical vacation, he was advised not to return to his main office but he refused.
During a meeting with top officials of his government on March 10, Buhari gave the impression that the worst days were over.
“I have rested as much as humanly possible, I have received I think the best of treatment I could receive. I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including the military with its ups and downs. I found out that technology is going so fast,” he had said.
However, days after returning to the office, he broke down again. He missed the weekly Juma’at service at Aso Rock mosque. The president also did not attend any official function outside the presidential villa between March 10 and May 7 when he returned to London.
While Buhari spent 49 days treating an undisclosed ailment during his first trip, the second one lasted 103 days.
But Buhari has been carrying on effectively since he has stayed away from the office.
The president on Wednesday left for a summit in Turkey — his second foreign trip in two months. In September, he attended the United Nations general assembly in New York.
When asked by TheCable why Buhari had not returned to his office and if it was still undergoing renovation, Shehu said: “You are aware that the entire villa complex is the president’s office so he can use whichever space he decides to use as long as he is able to get the job done.” – TheCable