The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has debunked the story making the rounds that President Muhammadu Buhari is being fed intravenously as the President, yesterday absent himself from the Federal Executive Council meeting for the third time in a row since his return from medical vacation in London.
Lai Mohammed, while briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, denied insinuations that the absence of Buhari was a confirmation that he was allegedly being fed intravenously.
An online media had reported that the President’s health condition had deteriorated to a point where he is currently finding it difficult to feed himself.
The report said, in addition to prostrate issues, Buhari was also affected by an ailment called ‘Crohn’s disease’, a medical condition that has affected his digestive system.
Before the celebration of Easter, Buhari also did not attend the FEC meeting and remained at home attending to other national issues at his official residence.
The New Diplomat recalls that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been presiding over the meetings. One of the FEC meetings was cancelled for reasons which the Federal Government explained was due to the failure of secretarial staff of the council to circulate memos to members for the meeting.
Last week, the president sought the understanding of his cabinet members to allow him have some rest and operate from his official residence. Osinbajo kicked off yesterday’s meeting at 11a.m., inviting the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma to say the opening prayers. As the cabinet ministers assembled in the council chambers, venue of the meeting, it was obvious that Buhari would not join them.
The usual protocol arrangement put in place for the President’s arrival was not made by officials. A security officer was not seen standing behind the president’s official seat as protocol provides.
The continued absence of Buhari from FEC meetings and other official public functions has raised concerns on the status of his health. His wife, Aisha Buhari, on her twitter handle on Tuesday, however, assured Nigerians that the health condition of her husband was not too bad as being painted in some sections of the media.
A few notable Nigerians have also advised the president to take a leave and attend to his health challenges. The Information Minister, while reacting to the speculation of intravenous feeding, said:
“The answer to your first question is absolute bunkum. It is absolutely untrue that he is being fed. He was in the office yesterday as you all reported. And if the doctors say he should take a rest I think you ‘ll recover faster when you rest when you ought to rest, rather than by forcing yourself to work when you are not fit to work.”
He explained that “all he is doing is following the doctor’s advice.” According to him, “Mr. President himself told the nation he has never been this sick and he is going to take it easy.
He said it from day one when he came back from the UK. “So, whatever is happening today is not any strange development; it is exactly what he said.
That he’s been advised to take it easy by his doctors and that he will soon also go back for further treatment. “I don’t think it’s anything that is out of the place from what he said. He has been quite transparent and upfront in the matter concerning his health.”