Amidst widespread calls for disclosure of cost incurred in treatment of President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of his 49-day medical vacation in the United Kingdom, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said Buhari has not changed his plan to return to his doctors in London, for follow-ups.
Shehu who spoke to journalists in Abuja, denies report in some quarters that the President will no longer be travelling back to the UK for medical attention.
“It is false news that Buhari is no longer going to London. We are not aware of the reported advance movements.
“The last time the President spoke about this, he said he would return to his doctors after some time.
“We are not aware that this has changed.”
The reports said that President Buhar had changed a plan to return to London this weekend for another round of medical treatment, barely two weeks after his return from a hospital there.
Instead, his doctors according to the reports, will be arriving on Friday to carry out further medical examination on him.
Sahara Reporters quoting sources at the Presidency, said that the President’s advance party had already left Abuja earlier in the day by Ethiopian Airlines before they were recalled .
The sources said the hawks within the Presidency advised against taking the President abroad so soon after his seven weeks away, as that would begin to feed the rumor mill all over again about his ailment.
Buhari had hinted about returning to the hospital shortly, saying there might be a need “for further follow-up within weeks.”
Given the political climate in the country, however, his advisers felt it was unwise to allow him to stay away for too long. The President has travelled to London several times since coming to power for a medical reason before travelling earlier this year for a prolonged medical treatment.
He had also traveled there in June 2016, reportedly consulting with an ear, nose and throat specialist after he contracted an ear infection.
The latest developments come as pressure is mounting on the Presidency to disclose how much was spent on his 49-day medical vacation in the United Kingdom, with Nigerians saying they have a right to know.
Activists, including well-known lawyer Femi Falana, and civil society groups such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, and the Campaign for Democracy, among others, argue that the medical bill is of public interest because Buhari touted transparency and change in public affairs when he ran for the Presidency.