Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will return to Nigeria tonight from the United Kingdom where he has been receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment for over 50 days.
Following the closure of Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Mr. Buhari is expected to land at the Kaduna airport. It is unclear whether he will fly to Abuja by helicopter or travel by road. He also has the option of traveling by rail, having commissioned the Abuja-Kaduna rail service just a few months ago.
The president left Nigeria on January 19 for a 10-day "medical vacation," but that was extended indefinitely when he sent a letter to the National Assembly asking for more time.
Saharareporters has reported on the nature of the president’s illness and the struggle within the president’s inner cycle to get back into the country despite medical advice against a quick return.
Aso Rock insiders have been worried that the longer the president remained out of the country, the greater the rumors about his closely-guarded condition. Today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the timetable for the 2019 elections for which, some analysts say, his health and performance are already making him a non-factor.
The international media has recently published articles in which they observed that Nigeria has been better run by the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in Buhari’s absence. That same feeling has been expressed by many Nigerians, but Prof Osinbajo has, who is deeply loyal to Buhari, has maintained that there is nothing he is doing that is outside the president’s plans or approval.