The Federal Government has said that there was no basis to compare the health condition of President Muhammadu Buhari with what played out during the late Umaru Yar’Adua presidency.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed told State House Correspondents yesterday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja, that President Buhari was not ill and in any danger that calls for panic.
Mohammed, who was asked on why he has failed to provide adequate information about the health status of the President while he challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2010 to do same while late President Yar’Adua was sick, said it was like comparing apple and oranges.
He declared that Buhari is not in hospital in London, United Kingdom and was also not in danger concerning his health condition. Buhari is currently in London, waiting to undergo series of medical tests as recommended by his doctors.
The President had proceeded for a 10-day vacation on January 19 and handed over to Vice President Osinbajo in acting capacity.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said during the period, he would undergo routine medical check-ups before returning to the country.
On Sunday, Buahri wrote to both leadership of the National Assembly informing the lawmakers of his desire to extend the vacation to enable him to complete more tests.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, the Information Minister insisted that President Buhari was not ill but hale and hearty.
He said there was no cause for alarm. Mohammed explained that the controversy about the health condition of the President has only played out because of the nature of his transparency. “I think I can say without any equivocation that he is well, he is hale and he is hearty.
No question about that. “Mr. President is not ill, he is not in hospital, there will be no need to give anybody hourly bulletin about his health, pure and simple,” the minister noted. According to him, the President was a victim of transparency.
“Mr. President, like I said elsewhere, is a victim of his own transparency,he was going on leave, he did what the constitution said he should do, he transmitted letter to the National Assembly and an acting President was in place and he said while I am on leave, I am going to conduct some medical tests which all of us do without announcing it.
“And of course, less than six hours after he got there, he was pronounced dead by some people. Even those who saw him climb the aircraft in Abuja said he was flown by air ambulance. I can assure you that Mr. President is well, is hale and hearty and no cause for concern.
The Acting President speaks to him every day and he told you so,” the minister said. The Information Minister said that he would, however, not blame President Buhari for the death rumour that has followed his vacation abroad.
“I won’t blame Mr. President too because this is the third time you are declaring him dead,” he said. Asked why President Buhari was going on vacation at a time when Nigeria was in recession, he said: “Our constitution guarantees that.
Did Obama not go on leave, do other presidents not go on leave? “Mr. President will go on vacation when he has to go on vacation.
Do you know how many ministers have gone on vacation this year? To say Mr. President cannot go on vacation is ridiculous.
“You see, on a lighter note, do you think Mr. President will be ill and we will be here and go about our business like this? The Acting President was in Anambra some days ago, I was in Ilorin on Monday, and all our ministers are busy.
But I want to assure you that Mr. President is well and he is absolutely in no danger. “I think it was one of the newspapers that said when I was the spokesman of the Action Congress (AC), I demanded hourly bulletin of Yar’Adua’s health and that I ought to be giving hourly bulletin as Minister of Information on the health of the President. And I said you are comparing apple and oranges.”