The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday said the media team would rely on third party information on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health status while he remains in London.
Shehu said this while featuring on a programme, Sunrise Daily, on Channels Television.
He gave the explanation when he was asked if he would be joining the President in London in order to be updating Nigerians on development concerning Buhari’s health.
The presidential spokesman said he would not join the President in London because he (Buhari) is entitled to his privacy.
He said the media team would rely on the information that would be made available by those with the President.
“No. I don’t think I will go. I hope the President has the privacy that he needs with his doctors and regains his health. We will continue to rely on third party from my own point of view,” he said.
Buhari had on Sunday evening returned to London for medical consultation, making it the second time he would be proceeding on medical leave this year.
The 74-year-old Nigerian leader had left the country on January 19 on what the Presidency described then as a medical vacation.
When the trip was prolonged, presidential aides announced that the President would be staying back in London to enable him to collect results of some medical tests conducted on him.
Buhari returned to the country on March 10 after a 49-day medical sojourn, saying he had never been that sick in his life.
Lately, the President has not been seen attending public functions as he was absent three times in the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings, causing anxiety among Nigerians.
His handlers, however, insisted that the situation was nothing to worry about as he was only resting based on his doctor’s instructions.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Partner for Electoral Reform, a Civil Society Organisation, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, said President Buhari’s foreign medical vacation was an indication of Nigeria’s poor health care situation.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the nation’s medical facilities needed urgent and comprehensive upgrade, saying that was the only way to check medical tourism.
Nwagwu said while it was good that the President had done the needful by taking care of his health, it was sad that he had to travel abroad to receive medical attention.
He said, “We wrote a letter to the President seeking that he did the needful by taking care of his health. It is a good thing that he heeded our advice and has gone to take care of himself, but it is, however, a sad one on our medical facility in the country.
“This shows that our medical facility is not good enough to take care of our President. So, there is need for an upgrade.”