Presidency dispels death rumour, says Buhari is alive

​There was consternation in several quarters in Abuja and beyond over the weekend as rumours circulated that President Muhammadu Buhari had passed on at a London hospital where he was said to be receiving treatment .

As the day wore on , the rumours gained ground after a news website published a story that the President was dead . The rumour soon spread like wild fire in different parts of the country with many Nigerians making frantic phone calls to ascertain the story ’ s accuracy.

The presidency however said on Saturday that there was no truth in the news .

Buhari had on Thursday travelled to London , United Kingdom , after writing to the National Assembly that he would be proceeding on a vacation and that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would be performing the duties of the President while he was away.

“ The report is hogwash, ” the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity , Femi Adesina , simply said when our correspondent contacted him .

Adesina also denied the report on his Twitter handle , praying for those behind it to repent.

“ Best wishes to all who wish PMB well . As for those who carry evil rumours , may they receive grace to repent, ” he said .

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity , Garba Shehu , also took to his Twitter handle to deny the report .

Shehu wrote , “ He is alive and well . President Buhari is not magical . He cannot be holidaying in the UK and be in Germany , dead or alive at the same time .

“ He is unlike a past president , who was at Ota with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and attending the Trump inauguration in DC , being in two places at the same time . ”

Shortly after the rumor began to spread on Saturday , our correspondent observed that the President ’ s family members were unperturbed in Aso Rock.

A member of the House of Representatives , Mr . Saidu Sani -Fago, who represents Daura /Mai’ Adua /Sandamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State also dismissed worries over Buhari ’ s health status, saying that the President was fit . ”

The lawmaker spoke further , “ Mr . President is fit and sound . He is taking a 10-day vacation and he wants to seize the opportunity to see his doctors .

“ This is normal . He did it last year . ”

Similarly , pan- northern socio -political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum , said President Buhari is a mortal like every other Nigerian and liable to fall ill.

According to the National Publicity Secretary , Mr . Muhammadu Ibrahim , there is nothing wrong if the President falls ill.

The ACF spokesman said , “ President Muhammadu Buhari is human. He has taken his annual leave and travelled to the United Kingdom for medical check up . ACF wishes him well. ACF calls on Nigerians to support the Acting President , Prof. Yemi Osinbajo . ”

In the same vein , the Muslim Rights Concern has advised Nigerians not to panic . Responding to an inquiry by

SUNDAY PUNCH , the MURIC Director , Prof. Ishaq Akintola , stated it was natural to feel concerned about the President ’ s health.

“ But that is nothing to worry about . Many at his age cannot even walk properly , speak clearly or see very well. Every man ’ s life is in the hands of Allah, including those of presidents , governors , ministers and ordinary citizens . Allah knows those who will die soon and those who will live long . ”

“ So , how do we know when it is someone ’ s turn? Only Allah knows that . People are expressing fear about the President ’ s health because they have little faith . They know very little about the ways of Almighty Allah, ” he said .

Akintola , who pointed out that sudden death among the young and healthy in the country was common , said , “ Don’ t we have Nigerians who have been sick for the past 40 years but are still alive and working ? It is about management and one ’ s turn. It is about faith . Let ’ s stop the pessimism . Healthy people drop dead without explanations while people who are sick keep hanging on although we are expecting the worst . ”

According to him , Buhari can only die at his apportioned time .

“ He won ’ t live one minute longer than Allah gave him . But , mind you , neither will he die one minute earlier . No matter how many death wishes and death wish advertisements , ” the Muslim scholar said .

He noted further that the President had lived a fulfilled life


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