Again, Buhari misses FEC meeting, Osinbajo presides

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His Excellency Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo with Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari shortly before the commencement of the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja. 3rd May 2017. Photo: NOVO ISIORO
His Excellency Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo with Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari shortly before the commencement of the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja. 3rd May 2017. Photo: NOVO ISIORO
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has missed his third Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in a row amid ongoing questions about the state of his health.

He has missed the last two FEC meetings but was expected to attend today’s meeting after his aides dismissed rumours that he was seriously sick.

Again, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the FEC meeting, with him were Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Buhari has not been seen in public for more than a week.

His wife Aisha Buhari had tweeted on Tuesday that her husband was not as sick as is being perceived.

In March, Mr Buhari returned from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK where he was treated for an undisclosed illness.

His Excellency Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo with Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari shortly before the commencement of the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja. 3rd May 2017.
Photo: NOVO ISIORO

In her tweets, Mrs Buhari that he was continuing to “carry out his responsibilities” and has been meeting with ministers. She also thanked Nigerians.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was the acting president while Mr Buhari was away in the UK, is chairing the cabinet meeting in the capital, Abuja.

Earlier this week, a group of prominent Nigerians has called on Mr Buhari to take medical leave as concerns about his health grow.

He uncharacteristically failed to show up at last Friday’s prayers at the mosque on state house grounds.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed told the BBC that the president’s health was “a personal matter” and that Nigerians have been kept aware of his condition.

Thirteen influential civil society figures, said in a statement on Monday that the president’s absence from the cabinet meetings, as well as the weekly Friday Muslim prayers, “has fuelled further speculation and rumours” about his medical condition.

The 13 said they felt “compelled” to ask Mr Buhari “to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay”.

Mr Buhari’s personal assistant Bashir Ahmed said the president had met Justice Minister Abubakar Malami and other officials at the presidential villa on Tuesday as part of his official duties.

Last week, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said Mr Buhari was “taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment” in the UK.