The Federal Government spoke yesterday on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health, saying it is wrong to compare his situation with the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s.
Buhari is on vacation in Britain. He has been asked by doctors to extend his stay for some tests.
There was secrecy around late President Yar’Adua’s health until his situation became critical.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters at the State House after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja that the president, who is on vacation, will have a check-up just like any minister does.
He said the rumours on the President’s health were part of the backlash against his anti-corruption war.
Those behind his death runours are looters and victims of his anti-graft battle, he said.
Mohammed said: “I think it was one of the newspapers that said when I was the spokesman of Action Congress (AC) I demanded for hourly bulletin on Yar’Adua’s health and that I ought to be giving hourly bulletin as minister of Information on the health of the President. And I said ‘you are comparing apples and oranges’. Mr. President is not ill; he is not in hospital. There will be no need to give anybody hourly bulletin about his health – pure and simple.
“Mr. President, like I said elsewhere, is a victim of his own transparency. He was going on leave; he did what the constitution said he should do. He transmitted a letter to the National Assembly and an acting president was put in place and he said ‘while I am on leave I am going to conduct some medical tests, which all of us do without announcing it. And, of course, less than six hours after he got there he was pronounced dead by some people. Even those who saw him climb the aircraft in Abuja said he was flown by air ambulance.
”I can assure you that Mr. President is well, he is hale and hearty and no cause for concern. The Acting President speaks to him every day and he told you so
”I won’t blame Mr. President too because this is the third time you are declaring him dead.”
On whether it was right for the President to go on leave during a recession, the minister said: “Absolutely yes. Our constitution guarantees that. Did Obama not go on leave? Do other presidents not go on leave? Mr. President will go on vacation when he has to go on vacation. Do you know how many ministers have gone on vacation this year?
”To say Mr. President cannot go on vacation that is ridiculous,” Mohammed added
With the Information minister at the briefing were Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh, and Minister of Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah.
Mohammed said: “I think I can say without any equivocation that he is well, he is hale and he is hearty; no question about that. You see on a lighter note, do you think Mr. President will be ill and we will be here and go about our business like this? He (Fashola)was in Anambra two three days ago, I was in Ilorin on Monday, all our ministers are busy. But I want to assure you that Mr. President is well and he is absolutely in no danger.