Friday 18th August, 2017
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Buhari: Mystery deepens over return date

Buhari: Mystery deepens over return date

The mystery deepened yesterday, following a second letter to the Senate from ailing President Muhammadu Buhari to fur­ther extend his vacation in the UK.
In a bid to clear the air on the Presidency’s claims that it communicated Buha­ri’s letter of extension of his 10-day vacation to the Sen­ate, spokesman of the Upper Chamber, Senator Aliyu Ab­dullahi Sabi, on Tuesday ad­mitted that the President of the Senate, Abubakar Buko­la Saraki received the letter.
Sabi, who was briefing Senate correspondents yes­terday, recalled that prior to his 10-day vacation to the UK, President Buhari noti­fied the Senate of his pro­posed trip in compliance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
According to Sabi, “You will recall that before we ad­journed plenary, we received a letter from Mr. President which was dated 16th of Jan­uary 2016 where he told the Senate that he was proceed­ing on a vacation for 10 days and this is to meet the con­stitutional provision.
“In the letter, he clear­ly stated that in his absence the Vice President will take charge of the running of the country. This is the normal thing and of course, based on that timing, Nigerians were rightly expecting the return of Mr. President on Monday.
“I am here to confirm the receipt of a second letter of Mr. President where he is in­forming the Senate that he is extending his vacation and this arose because in the first letter, he did inform us that he would use that period to see his doctors.
“Now, in this second let­ter, he informed the Senate that he is extending his vaca­tion because in the course of that routine medical check­up, there are still some tests that needed to be completed and because of that, he is ex­tending his vacation.”
Fielding questions from journalists on the actual date the Senate President re­ceived President Buhari’s let­ter and who signed the let­ter, the Senate Spokesman became restive and could not give answers to the ques­tions.
He said: “It is uncompli­mentary to the President of the Federal Republic of Ni­geria for somebody to ask who was the author of the letter, the date, etc.”
Sabi also could not state when the President was ex­pected to return to the coun­try, saying that he was not under any obligation to tell the Parliament when he would be through with his medical vacation as to state when to come back to Nige­ria.

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