The Presidency had planned to allow President Muhammadu Buhari attend the inauguration of Uganda’s tight-fist dictator, Yoweri Museveni, and then proceed to the United Kingdom from there for another medical treatment but it did not work out.
SaharaReporters learnt that the decision to send Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to Uganda to represent Buhari was a last-minute decision taken when it appeared that the UK trip was no longer feasible.
Top presidency sources told SaharaReporters that Buhari’s health, particularly his dementia, had deteriorated lately, and he was incoherent during the recent meetings he had with security chiefs and the Head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, Mr Ketil Karlsen, along with his team.
“Buhari had wanted to go for Museveni’s inauguration in Uganda and then use the opportunity to go to London but they changed the plans last minute and sent Osinbajo,” a top source revealed.
According to a release from the State House, Osinbajo would be joining several other Heads of State and Government for the swearing-in ceremony scheduled for today (Wednesday), May 12, at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, the nation’s capital city.
The Vice President who also participated at the resumed National Security Council meeting presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa later travelled to Lagos State where he attended another function.
“He departs Lagos this evening for Kampala and would be accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu. He is expected back in the country later on Wednesday,” the State House release reads.
Since he assumed office on May 29, 2015, Buhari has embarked on medical trips abroad at least five times, covering a period of up to 180 days during the time he has been in power.
The following is a timeline of the President’s trips for medical treatment; on February 5 to 10, 2016, the President took a six-day vacation in the United Kingdom, saying that his doctors lived in England.
Between June 6 and 19, 2016, Buhari went on a 10-day medical trip to England for an ear infection surgery. He extended his trip by three days to rest.
On January 19, 2017, the President was back to London again on a medical vacation.
On February 5, 2017, he wrote to the National Assembly, seeking an extension of his London medical leave. Later on March 10, 2017, Buhari returned to Nigeria, but didn’t resume work immediately at Aso Villa.
The Presidency had claimed that “he was working from home.” On May 7, 2017, Buhari embarked on a trip to London for another medical vacation. He returned after 104 days – the longest he had stayed outside the country.
On August 19, 2017, Buhari returned to Nigeria and it took him a while to resume work because rats had reportedly damaged furniture in his office.
The Presidency had announced that he would be working from home. On May 8, 2018, Buhari went to London for a four-day “medical review.”
On April 26, 2019, Buhari again left for the UK on a 10-day private visit to seek medical care. He came back to the country on May 5.
Also, on March 30, 2021, the president embarked on another trip for a routine medical check-up in London and returned on April 15.