President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been receiving medical treatment at a London hospital in the United Kingdom, again on Saturday said only his doctors would decide when he would return to Nigeria.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke at the Abuja House, London, when he received members of his media team led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Buhari who has been receiving treatment in the British capital since May 7 was reported to have told the team that visited him that there was tremendous improvement in his health and that indeed, he wished to return home.
“I have learnt to obey my doctor’s orders rather than be the one issuing the orders. Here, the doctor is absolutely in charge,” Buhari was quoted as saying.
Mohammed was said to have led the team that included Adesina; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; Personal Assistant on Digital/Online Media, Lauretta Onochie; and the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
According to Adesina, when the team expressed delight at the much-improved health of the President, Buhari reportedly said, “I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I have now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed.”
On how he felt when he heard different conjectures about his health, Buhari was reported to have said he followed events at home closely.
He was said to have praised Nigerian television stations, and the media generally, for keeping him informed.
When told that prayers were going on fervently for him, not only in Nigeria, but all over Africa, and around the world, the President reportedly said, “What we did in The Gambia early this year fetched us a lot of goodwill in the African continent. It gave us a lot of latitude. I thank all those who are praying (for me). May God reward them.”
Adesina said the President sent appreciation to all Nigerians, expressing hope that he would be with them soon.
Meanwhile, Buhari appeared in his first video since he left the country in May.
The short video aired by the Nigerian Television Authority on Saturday night was recorded when the President received members of his media team
In the video, Buhari was seen standing up to receive his guests. As the President shook hands with Mohammed, he said, “Lai, good afternoon. You are all over the place,” and the minister responded, “Thank you sir.”
“I see you every evening in the press. It is very good. Going by the press, you are working very hard,” the President told the minister.
Mohammed later told the NTA reporter that members of the team were excited about the health status of the President.
He said, “Mr. President is getting better. He is very healthy and he has not lost his sense of humour at all. We are very excited because we met our President in very good health. He spoke to us and we exchanged banters. We can’t ask for more.”
Adesina, on his part, said, “He (the President) has said that now, he has learnt to obey orders. You know Mr. President is a retired general. He was the one who used to issue the orders but he is the one to obey orders.”