President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country from the United Kingdom (UK) after two weeks.
The trip was his seventh to London in six years and the latest in the series of medical sojourns embarked on by the Nigerian leader to that country and his first outside the shores of the country since the outbreak of COVID-19.
With the lockdown in most countries occasioned by coronavirus, President Buhari did not embark on any medical trip. The pandemic deprived most African elite of the option of travelling to developed countries to seek medical attention.
The president had on March 30, 2020 flown to London for what the presidency described as a routine medical check-up.
Checks revealed that Buhari has spent 183 days on medical vacation in the UK in six years.
Since he assumed office in 2015, this is the seventh time he is travelling to the United Kingdom for medical vacation. A year after the president assumed office, precisely on June 6, 2016, he travelled to London to treat "a persistent ear infection". On January 23, 2017, he travelled to the UK again for a 10-day medical vacation but the trip was extended and he spent 49 days.
Similarly, on May 7 in the same 2017, the president returned to the UK for another medical vacation where he spent 103 days
Again on May 8, 2018, he returned to the UK to see his doctors. Also in August that same year the president travelled to London on a working leave and returned on the 18th of the same month, spending a total of 16 days.
In 2019, Buhari was on a 10-day private visit to the UK from April 25 to May 5.
That same year, the president on Saturday, November 2, proceeded to the United Kingdom on a private visit from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he had travelled for an official trip to attend the Economic Forum of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.
Yesterday, the presidential aircraft conveying the president and some presidential aides landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4:45pm.
Those at the airport to welcome the president included the chief of staff to the president, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the national security adviser to the president, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, retd.
Others were the service chiefs, acting inspector general of police, Usman Baba; the director-general, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa'I; the director general of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and other presidential aides.
The president, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidential helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.