Cancellation of the scheduled appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari and the arrangement of a 10 day trip to England for treatment of an ear infection have raised concerns that a serious health issue is afflicting the recently-elected leader.
It would not be the first time a Nigerian president claimed to be receiving treatment abroad but was actually at an advanced stage of a serious illness.
In 2010, Pres. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was reportedly receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for a long-standing kidney ailment when in fact he was near death and died quickly upon his return.
According to an official news release, “President Buhari has been examined by his personal physician and a specialist in Abuja and both doctors “recommended further evaluation purely as a precaution.”
Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo will stand in for the President.
Reports in the media suggest that the ear infection had given the president hearing difficulties.
In the past three weeks, the President cancelled several trips, including a two day working visit to Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, a trip to Ogoniland in the Niger Delta to break ground on an environmental cleanup project and a trip to Senegal to attend a regional summit of the Economic Community of West African States.
Accompanied by his personal physician, aides, chief of staff and official spokesman, the president flew out of the international airport in the capital, Abuja, for the UK medical checkups.