ABUJA – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will return on Saturday after three months medical leave in Britain where he was treated for an unspecified ailment, a presidential spokesman said.
The presidency has not disclosed the nature of the 74-year-old’s ailment, leading to speculation in Nigerian media about his illness. Buhari’s medical leave, his second this year, began on May 7.
Buhari, who took office in May 2015, handed over power to his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, in his absence to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa’s biggest economy.
“President Muhammadu Buhari returns to the country later today, after receiving medical attention in London,” spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement on Saturday.
“President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m (0600 GMT) on Monday, Aug. 21,” he said.
Local media said the president’s jet was expected to land on Saturday afternoon at the international airport in Abuja.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), the party of president and his deputy, praised the vice president’s contribution.
In a statement, it said Osinbajo had delivered “competent leadership in the absence of President Buhari and especially commends him for his effort to unite the country and drive the recovery of the national economy.”
Osinbajo’s actions included creating a market-determined foreign exchange window that helped push share prices to near three-year highs.
The medical leave was Buhari’s second break for treatment in Britain this year after his first began in January and lasted nearly two months.
Buhari reduced his working day to a few hours after returning on March 10 to Nigeria from his first stint of medical leave, diplomats and government sources said.