Timeline: President Buhari’s health status – the story so far

by Dolapo Adelana

There’s been a lot of outcry and hullabaloo over the health of President Muhammadu Buhari since he went on vacation.

He has been pronounced dead. Some have said he is brain-dead, while others have accused him for being incapable of leading the country.

The presidency has not been left out, as it has had to time and again be on hand to douse any tension concerning Mr. president’s health.

Here is a timeline of everything you should know concerning Buhari’ health.

January 19, 2017: Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, in a statement informed Nigerians that his principal, Buhari will held to the UK on a 10-day vacation and undergo routine medical check-ups. Adesina said the president will return on February 6.

January 19, 2017: The timing of the president’s trip was faulted as it came just days after the military air strike at Rann IDP.

January 19, 2017: Buhari met with Service Chiefs ahead of his trip to the UK. He urged them to tackle every security challenge head-on.

January 20, 2017: The president’s trip was deemed unjustifiable as he travelled at the time Nigerian troops were sent to Gambia and a military plane bombed IDPs in Rann.

January 21, 2017: Media aide to the president, Garba Shehu debunked rumours that Buhari had died while on vacation.

January 21, 2017: Following rumours of Buhari’s death, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina called on those spreading the rumour to repent.

January 22, 2017: President Buhari shared a picture of himself keeping abreast of happenings in the country while on vacation.

January 22, 2017: A former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, said those spreading rumours on Buhari’s death did not mean well for Nigeria.

January 24, 2017: Chairman of the PDP caretaker committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi accused some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being responsible for the death rumour of President Muhammadu Buhari.

January 25, 2017: Deji Adeyanju, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed displeasure over the death rumours. He said it was disheartening that some Nigerians will wish President Buhari ill.

January 25, 2017: Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed described rumours about the death of President Muhammadu Buhari as “silly”.

January 25, 2017: The Federal Government says it will punish all those behind the health and death rumours about President Muhammadu Buhari.

January 25, 2017: The Federal Government debunked reports that governors planned to embark on a trip to London to visit the president.

January 26, 2017: The Presidency insisted that the President could not be forced to speak with Nigerians.

January 26, 2017: The Trade Union Congress (TUC) said it was not necessary for President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians as he has not been gone for long.

January 27, 2017: The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians from the UK following rumours of his death. General Secretary of the congress, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson said it was the right thing for the president to do.

January 28, 2017: Ogun governor, Ibikunle Amosun visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London. Amosun was accompanied by Daisy Danjuma, a former senator.

January 28, 2017: Former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomhole said arguments over the health of President Muhammadu Buhari who travelled to the UK for vacation was unnecessary. Oshiomhole said the President as a citizen was entitled to vacations and medical check-ups.

January 29, 2017: Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari paid a visit to Buhari in London.

January 31, 2017: President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with the Minister of Sports and Youths development, Solomon Dalung over the death of his wife.

February 03, 2017: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo described those wishing President Muhammadu Buhari dead as callous. He said he was also rumoured to have died almost 12 times.

February 04, 2017: Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has dismissed rumours that President Muhammadu Buhari is dead. Shittu said Nigerians should rather pray for the president.

February 05, 2017: Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has described as untrue a report that President Muhammadu Buhari’s return to the country will be hampered due to a faulty aircraft.

February 05, 2017: President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the Senate requested an extension to his vacation.

February 05, 2017: The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said President Muhammadu Buhari was the only one who could release details of his health. Adesina added that he could not tell when Buhari will return to the country.

February 05, 2017: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make public his health status.

February 05, 2017: The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, confirmed the transmission of the letter from the Presidency to extend Buhari’s leave to the leadership of the National Assembly.

February 05, 2017: The Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, said there was no need for the House to reconvene to  consider Buhari’s letter requesting an extension of his vacation.

February 06, 2017: In an editorial piece YNaija demanded answers from the presidency on the health status of President Buhari. The editorial argued that Nigerians need to know the truth about Buhari’s vacation.

February 06, 2017: During the #IStandWIthNigeria protests, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu lamented that Nigerians did not know the president’s whereabouts.

February 06, 2017: Senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu said the President’s personal doctor confirmed to him that he was not in any serious condition.

February 06, 2017: A Twitter user, Gimba Kakanda, a contributor to Sahara Reporters and Premium Times, accused the presidency of trying to spin his health status with some photos it released showing President Buhari and his wife, Aisha.

Kakanda said that he has proof that the photos were taken in 2015 and if the Federal Government denies it, he’ll publish his proof.

February 06, 2017: The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said he is not in a position to disclose the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians.

February 06, 2017: Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said he had a lengthy phone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is hale and hearty.

February 06, 2017: A Commissioner at the Public Compliant Commission in Benue State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav accused the Presidency of refusing to tell Nigerians the truth about the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari.

February 07, 2017: Spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi confirmed that it had received a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the extension of his 10-day vacation in UK.

February 08, 2017: Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari always wanted a Vice President that could hold the nation together in case he died.

February 08, 2017: The Federal Government on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is “hale and hearty” and not hospitalised.

February 08, 2017: Minister of Information and Tourism, Lai Mohammed has said there is no reason to provide Nigerians with daily updates on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari.

February 08, 2017: Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the party was not praying for the death of President Muhammadu Buhari.

February 08, 2017: Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said the medical condition of President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Umar Yar’Adua is incomparable.

February 08, 2017: The Presidency said the Senate does not need to sit to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s vacation extension letter.

February 08, 2017: The elder sister of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajiya Rakiya said she speaks with the President everyday since he left for London.

February 08, 2017: Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari had become a victim of his own transparency in relation to his current vacation abroad.

February 08, 2017: Senate president Bukola Saraki said he spoke with President Buhari who was in “good spirits”.

February 09, 2017: President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to return to the country from his vacation to the United Kingdom this Saturday.

February 09, 2017: Lauretta Onochie, a personal assistant to the president on social media has accused the opposition of lying to Nigerians. She said Buhari is not ill, neither was he hospitalised in the UK.

February 09, 2017: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said he spoke with President Muhammadu Buhari, who told him he was pained by the suffering of Nigerians.

February 09, 2017: National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a chieftain of the party, Bisi Akande paid a courtesy visit to President Buhari in London.

February 09, 2017: Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu while speaking on the issue said it was morally wrong for people to wish the president death.


February 09, 2017: Columnist Dr. Peregrino Brimah, in an opinion piece urged the Senate to request for full details of the President’s health status, as he called on Buhari to resign honourably.

February 09, 2017: The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called on the Presidency to release the full details of President Buhari’s health status.

February 09, 2017: Ekiti governor Ayodele Fayose, who is a foremost critic of Buhari said Nigerians should pray for the president’s speedy recovery.

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