The federal government has explained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence at yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting followed advice by his doctors that he should further make out time to rest.
It also dismissed reports suggesting that the president was incapacitated and was being fed intravenously, describing them as absolute bunkers.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this, while briefing State House correspondents after yesterday’s FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Mohammed who said the president chose to rest yesterday noted that Buhari will soon be going back to the United Kingdom for further treatment.
He said, “On why the president was not at the meeting, you are also aware that the president was at his office yesterday and he worked at his office yesterday. A few days before now, we came out to say he has been asked to take some rest by his doctors, and he chose today to rest and not to attend the Federal Executive Council meeting.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank Nigerians who have expressed a lot of concern and sympathy and who have been praying for him. Like we have always said, Mr president will stick to his doctor’s advice so that he can recover much more quickly.
”We thank all of them for their concern. I think it shows how concerned Nigerians are about the health of the president and all their suggestions are being taken on board.
On reports that the president is incapacitated and was being fed intravenously, the minister said, “The answer to your first question is absolute bunkers. 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”.
Mohammed maintained that all the president was doing is following the doctor’s advice, even as he said, “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”.
According to him, whatever is happening today is not any strange development, but exactly what the president had said.
“So, I don’t think its anything that is out of the place from what he said. He has been quite transparent and upfront in the matter concerning his health”, the minister said.
The president’s absence yesterday at the meeting was the third consecutive time the president would be staying away from FEC.
On how the Buhari administration will mark its two years in office on May 29, the Minister said, “In our very normal customary way we are going to mark it because we have a lot of story to tell. We are proud that within two years we have made tremendous progress.
“We have been able to restructure the economy on a very sound footing. We have succeeded in not just looking for quick fixes, but we are addressing the fundamental issues of our economy and which is basically that we are moving away from relying solely on oil to other areas like agriculture, solid minerals and the rest.
“But more importantly, in the area of the economy, is that for the first time our emphasis is now more on infrastructure, on capital projects, rather than on recurrent. And in the area of fighting insecurity and the criminality in the North East, we have a good story to tell. In the area of fighting corruption, we have a good story to tell, in agriculture we have a good story to tell”.