Nigeria's Buhari returns home after London medical trip

President Muhammadu Buhari was in the UK almost two months for what his office said was "routine medical check-ups."

Photo by: AP Archive
Photo by: AP Archive

Buhari originally left Abuja for 10 days of treatment in the UK but extended his stay on the advice of doctors.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned home on Friday after nearly two months in Britain on extended medical leave, his office said.

The 74-year-old had officially been on vacation in London for what the presidency said on social media were "routine medical check-ups."

Buhari walked unaided from his plane after it landed at an air force base in the northern city of Kaduna, before boarding a helicopter.

Details of his condition have not been disclosed. In images released by his office this week, Buhari looked painfully thin but was smiling as he greeted the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in London.

Extended stay

Buhari left Abuja on January 19 for 10 days of treatment in Britain but extended his stay on the advice of doctors.

Prior to his departure, Buhari made a point of conferring acting presidential powers on Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, seeking to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa's biggest economy.

In Buhari's absence, Osinbajo chaired cabinet meetings and worked on an economic reform plan needed to secure a World Bank loan to help plug a deficit caused by low oil revenues.

Under Osinbajo, the central bank devalued the currency (naira) for retail customers, suggesting a wider devaluation of the currency may be in the offing despite Buhari's entrenched opposition to such a move.

TRT World's Fidelis Mbah has more on the story.

TRTWorld and agencies