by Alexander O. Onukwue
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been in London for 14 weeks, and for the first the time in that period, a video of the President has emerged.
Buhari was visited on Saturday, August 12, 2017, by his three of his media aides, Information Minister Lai Mohammed and the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The social media accounts of the Presidency posted images and videos of the meeting of the President’s officers with him, as reported by Adamu Sambo of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
This is, presumably, the first time the camera crew of a television station would be permitted to see the President and provide a video report on his state. Reports of previous meetings with the President, particularly of the six Governors, have described the meetings as carefully managed with only images released.
Although this meeting was reported by the State TV, it still represents an improvement on the matter of reporting the status of the President in London. It further debunks claims that the President could have been on life support or that he was dead. Buhari can be seen in the video in a standing position to welcome and shake hands with his visitors. In another frame, he discusses with them while all are seated.
There are no videos of him walking out to the open area where he was presented with a “Get Well Soon” card, but the video showed the visitors presenting the card to him, while official Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo took snapshots of the activities. One of his photographs shows Buhari in a walking mode, with his Ministers some few steps behind, supposedly taken after the card presentation. That would suggest that the President is actively mobile and strong enough to carry himself without support.
Without any word still on the President’s actual cause of illness, many will remain unsatisfied. However, that the Presidency finally produced a video of a talking Buhari could only be in its best interest, dispelling conjectures of his invalidity and demise.
Unless of course FFK thinks these were taking at last year’s Ramadan, or were they?