PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is being expected to arrive in London any moment from now as he starts a two week medical holiday during which he will meet with his UK doctors in what is now an annual ritual.
Since assuming office in 2015, President Buhari has come to the UK for healthcare every year, taking time off his presidential duties. Presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina said the president will travel today for a routine medical check-up and will return in about a fortnight during the second week of April.
President Buhari and members of his immediate family routinely travel for medical treatment in the UK as Nigerian hospitals battle with inadequate equipment and inadequate funding. Today’s trip was announced on the same day that Nigerian residents doctors announced they would commence an indefinite nationwide strike on Thursday due to non-payment of their salary arrears and Covid-19 hazard allowances.
It is expected that President Buhari will write to the National Assembly handing over the running of the country to vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo during his absence. According to Mr Adesina, the president will meet with his service chiefs this morning, after which he will fly out.
In August 2017, President Buhari spent 105 days in the UK recovering, during which period he stayed in London. While the president stayed at Abuja House, the official residence of the Nigerian high commissioner to the UK, his official jet was parked at Stansted Airport, both at the cost of the nation.