President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked Nigerians of the Christian and Muslim faiths for praying for his health, and has told his well-wishers that rather than troop to Abuja to visit him, they should dissipate their energy to pray for the unity and prosperity of the country.
The President’s comments came as his office clarified that he will be sending a letter to the National Assembly to formally announce his arrival. Osinbajo continues to act until the letter is transmitted.
Buhari told a group comprising Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Governors of Kogi (Yahaya Bello), Kano (Umar Ganduje), and Zamfara (Abdul azziz Yari), and cabinet members that he feels much better now adding that he has never been as sick as he has been recently.
This is a clear departure from claims by his handlers that he had no health challenge.
The President himself has said he will rest through the weekend.
Many misconstrued the President’s comments of the weekend rest to mean Osinbajo would remain acting president for an indefinite period.
Buhari had said: ” I survived just by the mercy of God and your prayers! I came during the weekend so that I will rest very well before resumption. My deputy is an erudite scholar and he is solidly behind me, he did well while I was away, we talked regularly. Remember I am an old man and he is much younger. We are one and a team. While you continue to use your energy and wisdom, I will continue to use my age and military experience.
Osinbajo in his response told the group: “As you can see, our constitution can work and is working. It will work once the head allows it to work and that’s exactly what the President did! Your leadership is needed in our country now. You are a man of integrity.
“In Jesus name, you will finish the Change Program that you have started. I thank you sir for giving me the opportunity and for the absolute confidence you repose in me. I recall, in one of our discussions, you didn’t even want me to ask you for anything. You said I shouldn’t consult you and I should just do as I wish. I thank you for this sir.
Below is what the President told the team he briefed in Aso Villa:
“This is going to be in two parts Firstly for the nation generally for what we expect the press to please handle with care
“The second is a number of experience which are a number of things to be shared only between me and the Vice President.
“I am deeply grateful to all Nigerians Muslims and Christians alike who have prayed and continue to pray for my good health. This is a testimony that inspite of the hardship being experienced Nigerians support the government in its efforts to tackle our country’s challenges.
“The best way me to pay you all is to rededicate myself to serving you, protecting your interest and keeping your trust. I thank you very much.
“I feel much better now.
“All I will need is to do further follow ups within some weeks.
“Rather than sending delegations to Abuja to welcome me , May I appeal to our people to continue to pray for the country’s unity, progress and prosperity. I thank you very much and may God bless our country.
“There is a remarkable difference between what happened now and what happened last year.
“When it was getting to Christmas I told the Vice President, I know he has got a church therefore he has to go home. I said okaylet us do it turn by turn, you go for Christmas and the New Year and when you come back I will go. He said yes.
“I suspected he didn’t go home, when he came back, I said ok it will be my turn in some months time. This time around I said we better do the same, I didn’t know he had the same principles, but for me I feel that I was a little more tired than I probably was in last eighteen months. Whatever the case , I am very grateful that Nigerians are appreciative of what all of us are doing as a group. I am very pleased with them.
I am cost conscious and I think the VP knows about the expenditure. So please if you were clever enough reroute your way, say on your official duties either from US back to Nigeria
If was a battle please don’t be too upset
I am very conscious of the economy. I have rested as much as humanly possible, I have received I think the best of treatment I could receive. I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including the military with its ups and downs. I Found out that technology is going so fast that if you have a lot of confidence you better keep it because you need it.
Blood transfusions, going to the laboratories, and so on and so forth, but I am very pleased that we, when I say we I mean the government and the people all over are trying to keep with technology.
I couldn’t recall when last I had blood transfusion, I couldn’t recall honestly I can say in my seventy years
I couldn’t remember this drug that Nigerians take so much, very common
I think one of our terrible thing is self drug administration. We have to trust our doctors more and trust ourselves more bearcat I visited they only take drugs when it is absolutely necessary. They don’t just swallow everything .
Having said that I am pleased that I am back, I am pleased that the Vice President enjoyed this break and he has to do much more this time around.
Youth and intellect is squarely behind him, age and purely military experience is behind me.
Continue to do the work, Nigeria will continue whether we are here or not and my single most important advise is take education of everybody under your responsibility very seriously, your children our relatives, our constituencies, education education education. We must do more on education.
I deliberately came back towards the weekend, so that the Vice President will continue and I will continue to rest. Thank You very much .