…Anxiety heightens as Buhari again fails to show up at FEC meeting
Anxiety heightened on Wednesday as President Muhammadu Buhari again failed to show up for the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo showed up at the council chambers at about a few minutes to 11 am. At 11 am while council members waited for the arrival of the President, his Chief Protocol Officer showed up and briefed the Vice President, obviously explaining that the President will not be able to make it.
The President’s absence raised more concerns that all is not well even as Nigerians complain about his scarce public appearances.
However, briefing newsmen after the meeting which lasted for two hours and presided over by the Vice-President, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the President had asked to be allowed to rest and work from home.
“The President asked that he be allowed to rest and asked the VP to preside. He asked that all his files be taken to him at home that he will work from home” Mohammed said adding that Osinbajo will be meeting with Buhari later in the day.
There has been public outcry calling for the full disclosure of the true state of the President’s health. The President’s Chief Security Officer earlier in the week expelled a reporter for being critical about the President’s health.
BusinessDay, however, gathered from an in-house source that the President actually planned to be at the meeting but could not cope with a flu and constant sneezing. This he said is why the VP was only informed at the last minute.
The Council Chambers venue of the weekly council meeting was scanty with just 15 ministers in attendance.
Since returning from a medical vacation in the United Kingdom, where he spent almost 50 days, Buhari has attended and presided over three FEC meetings. At the last FEC meeting he attended, the President launched the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. He has hardly been seen at public functions even as concerns mount in the
polity over his health condition.
Penultimate Wednesday, the President also failed to show up raising concerns about his health status. No reason was given for his absence but the minister of information and culture later told journalists that the President was attending to other matters.
Last week, the FEC shelved its meeting on grounds that the secretariat had not resumed. Presidential Media Aide, Garba Shehu also told journalists that the President was not sick.