…….Fanning ill health rumours.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday asked parliament to extend his medical leave, according to a statement, emanating from the Presidency.
The development has deepened suspicions amongst many Nigerians that his health may be worse than officials are publicly admitting.
Though Buhari had been due to return to work on Monday after taking more than two weeks leave for medical checks in Britain,the statement did not disclose how much extra time off he wanted.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly today, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors,” Sunday’s statement said.
Cross section of Nigerians and especially economic experts are of strong conviction that Buhari’s extended leave could hurt already-shaky confidence in his administration amid criticism that the government is gripped by inertia.
Meanwhile,some Nigerians have taken to social media demanding more details on the president’s health.
“If Buhari isn’t healthy enough to be president, he should resign and go and rest with his family,some tweets on social media have suggested.
As rumours swirled last month that Buhari was gravely ill, his office urged Nigerians to disregard what it said were false and subversive messages.
Buhari’s health issues come as investors push the government to allow the currency to float freely, saying it its being kept artificially strong by policymakers.
Of a notable truth, Nigeria’s economy is performing its worst in 25 years.
Added to this is that in the northeast, a humanitarian crisis threatens millions, ridden by conflict with Islamic insurgents Boko Haram.
Buhari also spent nearly two weeks in London last June for treatment for an ear infection, stoking concerns for his health now.
Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, was sworn in after the death in 2010 of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Yar’Adua’s illness created a power vacuum that was only filled by Jonathan, his vice president, after three months of political infighting.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s had been acting as President of Nigeria since Bihari’s departure.
(Source: Reuters. Additional reporting by our Abuja correspondent.)