President Muhammadu Buhari at Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja . PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA
Barring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to resume work on Monday, February 6, 2017, but his arrival in the country is still shrouded in secrecy.
Also, preparations for his arrival are still being kept secret, as nothing on ground yesterday showed that the president was being expected today. Hitherto, the President’s return after several days away was heralded with pomp and activities.
His Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina was not categorical when contacted by The Guardian regarding official preparations to receive the president at the expiration of his holiday. He simply said: “When the information is out you’ll be told.”
However, other sources in the Presidency confirmed on Friday that the president would be received by top government officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Meanwhile, workers of construction giant, Julius Berger were seen on Friday carrying out routine cleaning of the forecourt in the villa and putting other aesthetic touches on the building housing the president’s office.
Although there was no indication of a grand reception being planned, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), said it has mobilised no fewer than 15,000 of its members to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari at the Nnmadi Azikwe International Airport Abuja.
Malam Gambo Jagindi, Special Adviser on media and publicity to the President of NYCN made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
According to the statement, “ The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has concluded arrangements to mobilise not less than 15,000 of its members to be at Abuja airport on Feb. 6, to welcome President Buhari from vacation.”
Recall that President Buhari wrote to the Senate on Friday, January 21, that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo would act on his behalf as President for the 10 days that he would be on medical vacation.
In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, President Buhari said he was writing in line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
According to the letter, which was read on the floor of the Senate at plenary by Saraki, President Buhari said he will be away from Monday 23rd January to Monday 6th February.
However, since President Muhammadu Buhari left the shores of Nigeria on Thursday, January 20 to the UK on a 10-day medical vacation, the country, indeed the media, had been inundated with the rumour of his death in a London hospital, with his media aides, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, battling to debunk the many fabricated news items that flooded the social media.