Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari who had a "technical stop over" in London from Washington D.C. en route Nigeria has finally left Britain for the country and is expected to arrive Thursday evening, the presidency has disclosed.
Malam Garba Shehu, the president's Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, who had earlier said the president had a "technical stop over" in London on his way from the United States where he had a meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday, said his arrival in Nigeria was delayed because the president was not flying in the big jet because it had gone for maintenance.
According to him, Buhari was using the smaller jet and the longest distance it can cover is 12 hours, 40 minutes, pointing out that it was necessary to ensure that the aircraft was not overstretched even though the distance from Washington D.C. to Abuja is 12 hours.
Against this backdrop, Shehu said the journey had to be broken into two with a stopover in London to create room for necessary checks on the plane before proceeding to Nigeria, noting however that the aircraft has left London and will arrive Nigeria soon.
"The big jet is under repairs. It has been taken for major repairs. So the president is using a small plane and there is a limit to the distance the small plane can cover.
"So the technical stopover I talked about is that the journey from the U.S. to Abuja is broken into two. The technical stopover is that the plane stops at a point, refuels, does some checks and then proceeds on the journey.
"This is very normal. There is nothing unusual about it. In any case, they are already on their way back home.
"It is a routine thing. The plane can do Abuja-Washington, that's about 12 hours and the maximum the plane can fly is 12 hours, 40 minutes. But you don't need to push it to the edge," Shehu said.
Following his clarification, the president's Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, sent out a Twitter that the president was expected to arrive Abuja Thursday evening.