Just as he promised last Friday when he returned from medical vacation in London, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday morning resumed his official duties at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He wrote a letter to the National Assembly to notify the lawmakers that he had reported for work, the way he did when he departed for London nearly two months ago.
The President arrived at his office about 11am after which his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, came, obviously to pick up the letter for the lawmakers.
By noon, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo walked from his office to the President’s office to meet with Buhari.
Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, was one of the early callers to the President’s office.
Osinbajo had been Acting President since January 19, 2017 when Buhari left Nigeria for
London to attend to his health, a development that was followed by rumours of his worsening condition and even death.
When Buhari returned last Friday, he summoned a meeting of senior government officials where he recounted his travails. He said that he had never been so sick, and that it was so severe that he even had to undergo blood transfusion.
He said he would rest some more while Osinbajo carried on, but moments later, the Presidency issued a statement announcing that Buhari would instead write to the National Assembly and resume duties yesterday.
After the meeting, Osinbajo said that he had handed power back to President Buhari, who he declared as “over-ready” and healthy enough to resume official duties.
Osinbajo told State House correspondents that the President was coping with the work, adding that “he is very well. We just had a very long meeting.
“We are basically trying to bring the President up to speed as to some of the things we had done while he was away.
“And he has given a few directives on what we should be doing on so many areas - the North East, budget, the economy, and a wide range of issues.
“He held a meeting with me for over an hour where we discussed a wide range of issues, so his readiness for work is not in doubt at all. In fact, he is over-ready.”
Osinbajo confirmed that he had handed presidential powers back to Buhari, saying “oh yes! I’m back to my regular position as Vice President.”
He also declared that his boss was “reasonably satisfied” with the way he handled the country while he was away.
Asked if Nigerians should expect a lot delegation of functions to him by the President, Osinbajo replied that such had been Buhari’s style even before he fell sick.
In the letter written to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, President Buhari said: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate the House that I have resumed my function as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 13th March 2017, after my vacation.”
After he received the letter, Dogara promised that the House will sustain a cordial working relationship with the Executive arm of government.
Buhari’s letter was presented to Dogara by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Hon. Suleiman Abdurhaman Kawu Sumaila.
The Speaker said he would read the letter to his colleague in plenary today since the communication was meant for them.
Meanwhile, Aso Rock Villa is yet to regain its usual hustle and bustle despite President Buhari’s resumption of work.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Senator Abu Ibrahim and the President’s Special Assistant on House of Representatives, Kawu Sumaila, were other callers at the President’s office before he led for home about 2:30pm.
After his parley with Buhari, Osinbajo presided over a meeting of the Economic Management Team (EMT) which he chairs every Monday.
Some Service Chiefs, particularly those of the Army and Air Force, were seen at the Vice President’s wing of the Presidential Villa.