Presidency has urged Nigerians to disregard the rumour making the rounds that something unpleasant has happened to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senior Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a series of tweets, said the rumour “is plain lies spread by vested interests to create panic.”
One of the rumours making the rounds claim that President Muhammadu Buhari has been put to life support where he has gone to receive medical treatment abroad. And, even more disturbing is another one that claims the president may even have died.
However, Mr. Shehu debunked the rumours, maintaining that nothing unpleasant has happened to the president. “Baseless rumour are trending again that an unpleasant thing has happened to our beloved President, Muhammadu Buhari.”
“If you have received this information on WhatsApp or Facebook, disregard it bcos it is plain lies spread by vested interests to create panic.”
“Nothing unpleasant has happened to the President. No cause for apprehension. Thanks for the many calls.” Below, therefore, is a full text of one of the rumours making the rounds.
“Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Finally goes Home; Body to be Flown back to Abuja Tomorrow”. “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been confirmed dead in London where he was receiving medical treatment.”
President Buhari flew to London from Abuja last Sunday for follow-up medical consultations with his doctors where he unfortunately died. He had been to London twice.
Speculation has been rife that his health had deteriorated badly, but he attended last Friday prayers to douse such grave insinuations.
His special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed in Abuja that President Buhari had planned to leave Sunday afternoon, but decided to tarry a bit, due to the arrival of 82 Chibok schoolgirls in Abuja earlier in the day.
According to Adesina, the length of the president’s stay in London was to be determined by the doctors, saying that the government will continue to function normally under Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
“President Buhari has transmitted letters about the trip to the Senate and the House of Representatives, in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution,” he added.
Then Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom told reporters plans are underway to transport the body of the late President back to Abuja where final funeral rites will be held.
President Buhari had travelled to London in January for a similar check-up and returned to Nigeria in March. Before that, in June 2016, the president also travelled to London to seek treatment for an ear infection.
President Buhari had earlier hosted the 82 rescued Chibok schoolgirls to a light reception shortly before the arrival of Osinbajo, Bukola and Dogara.
The President, at the reception, described the rescue of the girls as a pleasant second anniversary gift to Nigerians. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to be sworn into office as the substantive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Government is yet to issue an official statement on the President’s demise. He was 74 years.”