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Presidency taunts opposition as Buhari returns from UK


President Muhammadu Buhari returns from his private visit to London. Photo: Bayo Omoboriowo/Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday returned to Abuja after a 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom amid tight security.

His Boeing 737 Business Ajet plane touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 6:24p.m.

The presidency, in a statement, however upbraided those it described as “online media, irresponsible political opposition, and other bilious groups and individuals, who, had gone on an overdrive since the president left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalisation, and would not return after 10 days.”

Signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the document read in part: “In their vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care.

“Now that the president has returned, can these apostles of evil imaginings swallow their words? Can they retract their tendentious stories as well as press statements, and apologise to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that they have fed with hogwash?

“Few days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, we daresay that this valuable freedom is not tantamount to liberty to mislead and hoodwink the populace through concocted and jejune publications.

“The Buhari administration will always respect and uphold press freedom, but the onus lies on those prone to passing off fiction as facts, to remember that freedom demands concomitant responsibility. Those who further share and disseminate falsehood are also encouraged to embrace responsible conduct.”

Before his return, there had been insinuations that the president might need to extend his tour because he was allegedly undergoing medical treatment in the European nation.

But his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, dismissed the reports last weekend, stating: “it is rubbish.”

Buhari, who was first elected in 2015, is billed to be sworn in for a second four-year term on the 29th of this month, though his main rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the outcome of the February 23,2019 exercise in court.

While away, concerns were raised as to why he did not write the National Assembly to formally transmit power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in compliance with Section 145 (1) and (2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

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