Nigerians got more assurances yesterday that all is well with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President spoke with Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday night.
Yesterday, the President received two leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande – in London .
The Presidency gave the first hint of the meeting, using @NGRPresident official Twitter handle.
It posted a photograph of the President and his guests sitting down.
It said the meeting was holding at the Nigerian government’s official residence in London.
“President @MBuhari currently receiving party leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in Abuja House, London,” it said.
About 30 minutes later, the handle posted another picture with the President apparently seeing off his guests. The tweet says: ‘the president and his guests just finished meeting.’
At 11.35pm on Wednesday, Saraki tweeted: “Happy to have spoken with @NGRPresident @MBuhari tonight. He was in good spirits and joked about my working late into the night, as usual.”
Speaker Dogara, in a series of tweets, said: “@Mbuhari called me yesterday (Wednesday) evening. He talked about what the Executive/Legislature must do to ensure food security for all Nigerians.
“He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he’s resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves
“He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Hon. Members.”
The Speaker’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, confirmed that the president spoke to his boss. “They discussed many national issues including ways of ensuring food security for Nigerians,” he said.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the apex Islamic body, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), called for prayers for the President, who is undergoing some medical tests while on vacation.
In a statement, CAN Director of Legal and Public Affairs Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel, advised Nigerians to pray for Buhari instead of dwelling on the needless rumour mongering that he had passed on.
The statement said: “The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is deeply concerned about the ongoing national conversation on the absence of the President due to ill-health. We wish to call on all Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the quick and full recovery of Mr. President and his safe return to Nigeria instead of dwelling on the needless rumour mongering on the President’s health.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is human, hence subject to health challenges sometimes. CAN appreciates the anxiety of Nigerians to hear Mr. President speak, but sues for understanding as we await that. It is very clear that our leader is passing through health challenges.
“We advise the Presidency to update Nigerians on how he is fairing and the full progress of his recovery.
“We call on all Christians and indeed all God-fearing Nigerians to dedicate time of prayers for our President and the nation. We owe our leaders prayers and support at all times while shunning divisive opinions that only generate strive.
“CAN also calls on Nigerians to give the Vice President who is also the Acting President full support and prayers to lead well.
“We acknowledge that government is a continuum, hence, we call on Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to be bold in handling critical state matters and not to be distracted by those who do not wish Nigeria well.”
The JNI directed that all Juma’at prayers across the country today be dedicated to the president’s quick recovery and safe return to Nigeria.
The JNI, in a statement by its Secretary-general, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said the Islamic body was disturbed by the rumours on Buhari’s health, adding that after all, as with every mortal, illness is inevitable, likewise life and death.
“JNI is very concerned about the pandemonium generated as a result of the rumored illness of the President and the dimension it is unfortunately taking. Does that mean, he can no longer get ill?
“Agreed that reports from the Presidency stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is currently undergoing cycle of tests as recommended by his doctors, hence the extension of his leave. We must, as patriots, be cautioned on spreading inaccurate information. More so, Muslims should be cautioned not to join the bandwagon of rumour mongers.
This is so because already some unpatriotic elements are wishing that the President is dead. Interestingly, those who wish him dead will certainly not live till eternity. Aren’t we supposed to wish each other good well being? Let alone the President of the country?
“Therefore, following the unnecessary excitement in the President’s delayed return to Nigeria, we implore all and sundry, particularly the Muslims, to persistently supplicate on daily basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s safe return, restoration of good health and the ability to continue with the task of piloting Nigeria to greater heights with his team.
“In the same vein, we are all implored to fervently pray for the nation, the vice president, governors and all those in positions of authority for Allah’s guidance in the discharge of their respective duties.
“We therefore call on allJumu’ah Imams to include the matter in their respective Friday sermons tomorrow and beyond. Because in prayers we find consolation,” JNI said.