The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to exercise his powers while he’s in London for the next two weeks.
Buhari left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, for a routine medical check-up and won’t be back till the second week of April.
Noting that Buhari is not in any sick condition, Shehu said the president is capable of carrying out his duties as the nation’s leader while on his medical treatment.
“He will continue from wherever he is. The requirement of the law is that if the President is going to be absent from the country for 21 days and more, then a transmission (of power to the VP) is warranted. In this particular instance, it is not warranted,” Shehu said.
The president is a frequent flier to the United Kingdom where his doctors routinely check him or treat him for undisclosed ailments.
His medical trips have proved controversial in the past when the president has stayed in London for extended periods, fueling speculations that he was too ill to lead the country.
Shehu on Tuesday night rejected criticism that the president is a medical tourist, arguing instead that he’s simply loyal to the same doctors that have been treating him for decades.
“I think the president is wise and quite correct in his decision that he retains consistently the set of doctors who have ensured good health for himself,” he said.
When he was challenged on Buhari’s failure to fix the health sector enough to ensure he doesn’t have to travel abroad for medical treatment, the president’s aide said the administration is trying its best but that resources are scarce.
He lamented that the nation’s resources are already spread thin across numerous sectors so much that significant progress has not been made in nearly six years that Buhari has been president.
The 78-year-old flew abroad just days before resident doctors are set to commence a strike action over poor welfare packages, unpaid salaries, among other things.