President Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical leave | News | DW | 10.03.2017
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President Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical leave

Nigeria's president has returned to the West African nation after nearly two months spent in the UK. His prolonged absence left many speculating about his health.

President Muhammadu Buhari landed in Nigeria on Friday morning after 7 weeks in London on medical leave, a government spokesman said.

Buhari announced last month that he was extending his stay in the UK pending the results of a series of medical examinations, deepening suspicions that the 74-year-old leader's health was deteriorating.

A spokesperson at the time said that he was "not in any serious medical condition," though authorities remained tight-lipped about what was ailing the president.

"I am pleased I am back, I am feeling much better now," Buhari's personal assistant, Bashir Ahmad, quoted the president as saying on Twitter. He also published photos of the leader's arrival.

Speculation sparks tension

The speculation has caused tension in the country, where the unexpected death of President Umaru Yar'Adua in 2010 sparked political infighting before the swearing-in of President Goodluck Jonathan, Buhari's predecessor.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been in charge of the country since Buhari left for the UK in mid-January. Among the issues he has faced are deepening economic anxiety and a growing insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad region of the country, which is Africa's largest economy.

Buhari's plane was forced to land in Kaduna on Friday, since runway repairs forced the shutdown of the airport in Abuja. The government spokesman said Buhari was now back at his presidential villa in the capital.

blc/jm (Reuters, dpa)

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