The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Monday, May 22 said that President Muhammadu Buhari is still working while receiving medical treatment in London.
Kachikwu, who was speaking during a BBC Hard Talk interview in London on Monday, also stated that Buhari had mandated his ministers to stop flying private jets.
The minister said that executive members had been mandated by the President to fly business class in commercial airlines.
When asked about the state of health of the President as his latest medical vacation entered its second week, Kachikwu replied, “Yes, he is in London. He is undergoing hospital treatment, (but) I don’t know the details of that and I obviously wouldn’t know. But let me say this, he returned from his first trip in London, even though the doctors advised him to have some rest.
“He’s back to London and he has continued some levels of meetings and has been able to play some roles. He has a very efficient Vice-President who is sitting in for him in his absence. It really hasn’t made much of a difference.”
On whether the President had been transparent enough to Nigerians as regards his health challenges, the petroleum resources minister stated that Nigerians were aware of the fact that Buhari ‘is not too well’.
When asked what was wrong with Buhari, the minister said, “I don’t know. But let’s face it; who in the world goes around giving to everybody what their medical statuses are? The doctors have got to be able to release something official and he’s working through it. It has not become a major problem.”
When probed further on the capability of the President to continue in office, the minister said, “Well, we’ve heard rumours in Nigeria about sick presidents off and on, most of them sometimes not quite correct. Will he be able to lead Nigeria? I think looking at the sort of conversations I had with him when he came back, he was strong enough to do his work, struggled a bit in terms of trying to fully recover.
“Nobody plans on illness, it happens. He has an efficient number two man; the system works, that’s the whole essence of democracy. He’s on top of his abilities to be able to issue policies and to be able to approve what he needs to be approved.”