Buhari will be home soon – Presidency

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari is homesick and will be on his way to Nigeria any time soon.

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant, media to the president, said this today on a live TV programme.

Although Shehu did not indicate when exactly the president will return,  he said the president is no longer 'enjoying his stay'' outside the country.

President Buhari, went on vacation to UK on Jan. 19, during which he said he would go for a routine medical check. In a letter to the Senate, he said he would return to work on 6 February.

But he transmitted another letter to the Senate, on Feb. 5, requesting extension of time to complete the medical check-up.

However, the presidential aide revealed that the president would be returning to Nigeria soonest as he was no longer `comfortable' with the extended vacation in London.

'As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to see the president in fresh and that will be soon as possible.

'The President (himself) is looking to being home to be with his people.

'I don't think he is enjoying any longer with an extended vacation outside the country.''

On the president's telephone conversation with President Trump, Shehu described as 'undiplomatic'' the request being made in some quarters for the release of the audio containing the conversation.

According to him, releasing an audio containing telephone conversation between two presidents is highly unethical and against modern day civilization.

'No, I don't think so; I don't think it is permitted in international diplomacy. I think if we had recorded Mr Trump in this conversation it would have offended our diplomatic relations.

'I think the Americans themselves would not have recorded this conversation of president to president,'' he said.

On the president's test results being expected from his doctors, the presidential aide said he had no information on whether the president had collected the results or not.

He said: 'No, we have no information on that (test results). If he had received them, he would have been on the plane back home.''

Shehu, who noted that there was no enough time for the two presidents to discuss other continental and international, however, expressed optimism that the conversation would boost the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the U.S.

'Well, there wasn't enough time to talk about everything. I think the point at what will follow is in the invitation that President Trump has extended to our president (Buhari) to come over.

'That is the kind of opportunity that was presented to Nigeria put all the issues on the desk.

'As for their immigration policy, I think our president has been clear about one thing- the choices made by the Americans as to who to lead them in this case, Mr Trump, is entirely their own choice.

'We have no business interfering with their domestic affairs.

'As to the countries that have been barred, it has been clearly specified and Nigeria did not feature in the list,'' he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari had on Monday in London spoke with Trump by telephone at the request of the American President.

According to the president's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the conversation was cordial and Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as President of the United States and on his cabinet.

Adesina said the two leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through provision of necessary equipment.

According to him, Trump encouraged  Buhari to keep up the good work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts he has made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok Girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.

'Trump assured the Nigerian president of the U.S readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.

'Trump also invited Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date,'' the statement concluded.

While President Buhari was in London, his wife, Aisha went to perform the Umra in Mecca. She returned to Nigeria at the weekend, thanking Nigerians for their prayers for her husband.

President Buhari has also been holding court with prominent Nigerians, such as APC leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Senator Daisy Danjuma.

Political leaders, such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who had not visited Buhari in London have also engaged him on phone.

And just today, President Buhari had a phone conversation with senior citizen, Adamu Fika and condoled him over the death of his wife.'