President Muhammadu Buhari today departed New York City for London after attending the United Nations General Assembly. An itinerary seen by SaharaReporters shows that the President would leave New York about 9:04 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on his presidential jet.
Mr. Buhari’s immediate itinerary is a stopover in the United Kingdom where, according to a senior aide, he will undergo an extensive medical checkup on Saturday. The results of that checkup will determine the schedule of his return to Abuja.
President Buhari’s presence in New York provoked protests by hundreds of Nigerians, most of them from the Igbo ethnic group, decrying his government’s deployment of troops to the southeast zone in a military operation tagged “Python Dance II.” There are conflicting reports that the soldiers killed more than twenty suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group agitating for a referendum to enable the Igbo-dominated southeastern zone of Nigeria to become a separate country.
The Nigerian presidential jet arrived New York from Abuja on September 17th after a brief stopover on the Spanish Island of Santa Maria. The jet was then flown to Dover, Delaware from when where it was returned to New York in preparation for the London trip.
Our Presidency source said he expected the London trip to be short, but added that he could not state how long Mr. Buhari would be in the UK.
“The whole thing will be based on what the doctors say after running their tests on Mr. President,” said the source.
President Buhari returned to Nigeria from the UK on August 19th, 2017 after spending 104 days receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment. Our source said the president requires “total blood transfusions from time to time.”