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24 July 2017

Buhari ‘expected back from UK within two weeks’

A Nigerian state governor says he expects President Muhammadu Buhari to return home from the UK within the next two weeks.

Governor Rochas Okorocha was a member of a delegation who met the president in London on Sunday.

Mr Buhari has been receiving treatment in the UK for an unspecified illness.

His absence has led to some anxiety in Nigeria, with some speculating that he might have died. Others have worried he may not be able to return to duty.

The presidency later released images of Mr Buhari, 74, at the meeting with governors from his party. It is the first time he has been pictured in London since leaving Nigeria almost 80 days ago.

‘High spirits’

The Imo state governor told the BBC’s Newshour programme on Monday: “I met a very hardy man in high spirits, and he’s doing quite well. He has not lost his sense of humour, for which is he known for.

“So he is doing quite well and we are very pleased to see him and I think that has gone a long way to reassure Nigerians about the health of their president.”

Mr Okorocha earlier said Mr Buhari had laughed off rumours concerning his health when asked about them.

“President Buhari was completely unperturbed by the cocktail of lies. He, instead, sent his best wishes to Nigerians.”

Mr Buhari would be returning as soon as doctors gave him the green light, Mr Okorocha said.

The president left Nigeria on 7 May – his second trip to the UK for treatment this year.

In his absence, he has given Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo full powers to act as head of state.

Buhari’s unhealthy start to 2017

19 January: Leaves for UK on “medical vacation”

5 February: Asks parliament to extend medical leave

10 March: Returns home but does not resume work immediately

26 April: Misses second cabinet meeting and is “working from home”

28 April: Misses Friday prayers

3 May: Misses third consecutive cabinet meeting

5 May: Appears at Friday prayers in Abuja

7 May: Travels to UK for further treatment

6 June: Buhari’s wife says he is “recuperating fast”

12 July: Acting head of state says the president will be home “very soon”

Source: BBC

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