Nigeria: Buhari back from sick leave, says he needs to rest

ABUJA/LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday he would need more rest and health tests after coming home from nearly two months of medical leave in Britain during which his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, stamped his authority on economic policy.

Shortly after arriving back from London, the 74-year-old former general told officials he was feeling “much better” but wanted to rest over the weekend, raising questions about his ability to run Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation.

Osinbajo, a lawyer who is seen as more business-friendly than Buhari, played an active role in driving policy changes during the president’s seven-week absence.

The Nigerian stock exchange jumped to a one-month high when Buhari returned, but trimmed gains after his comments about his ill-health raised fears of policy confusion and a power vacuum.

Dressed in a dark kaftan and Muslim prayer cap, Buhari walked stiffly but unaided from his plane after it landed at an air force base in the northern city of Kaduna.

After greeting a handful of provincial and military officials, he boarded a helicopter to the capital Abuja to address Osinbajo and his top military and security commanders in a brief speech.

“I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the Vice President will continue and I will continue to rest,” Buhari said at the presidential villa. “All I need is to do further follow-ups within some weeks.”

He said he was “conscious” of the needs of the economy, mired in its first recession in 25 years due to a collapse in oil revenues, but failed to clarify Osinbajo’s role.

Source: Angola Press News Agency