Buhari returns, challenges journalist to wrestling contest

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday returned to Nigeria after spending 14 days in London, United Kingdom.

President Muhammadu Buhar
President Muhammadu Buhari

In a short interaction at the airport, Buhari challenged one of the State House correspondents, who asked him about his state of health, to a wrestling contest.

“You know I am taller than you. Do you want to wrestle me?” the President asked in Hausa language.

He had earlier told the journalists that they could see him while he was inspecting the guard of honour, an indication that his health was in perfect condition.

“I am okay. You can see me inspecting the guard of honour.  You have seen me, you saw me when I was going. You can do the assessment yourself,” he said.

The presidential jet that conveyed the President landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 5.33pm.

Dressed in a light brown kaftan, Buhari was in company with two of his children – a son and a daughter; a few close aides and Alhaji Mamman Daura.

He was received by the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari; the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; some members of the Federal Executive Council, top government officials, federal lawmakers and service chiefs.

On arrival, Buhari inspected a guard of honour mounted by men of the Guards Brigade.

Members of the National Troupe dressed in Yoruba and Fulani attire also danced to the admiration of the President.

Buhari had a brief closed-door interaction with the top government officials who came to receive him at the airport.

With the  airport ceremonies over, the President and some top aides left for the Presidential Villa in a long convoy.

The two governors in attendance in separate interviews expressed delight at the President’s return.

“We thank God for bringing him back to fix the country,” Yari said while Bello simply said, “Our daddy is back. He has gone to take a rest and he is back. We are happy and delighted to have him back.”

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, later told reporters that Buhari would be resuming duties on Monday (today).

“The President is going to resume work tomorrow. The Vice-President had said he would arrive today and he has arrived, then work starts in earnest tomorrow,” he said.

The presidential spokesman insisted that Buhari did not travel abroad for medical purposes.

He recalled that he wrote in the statement he issued that the President had been treated by Nigerian physicians.

He restated his position that what the Nigerian doctors told Buhari was that since he was going for holiday, experts could also look at him there.

He said, “It was not as if he was not treated in the country. He was treated, well treated and certified okay. Since he was going on holiday, he was asked to see experts there.

“Some people called it a medical leave. It was not. It was a leave to rest and during that rest, experts now looked at his health.

“So it was not principally a medical leave.”

Adesina then thanked Nigerians who wished the President well and appealed to others who he said went “into an overdrive to have a positive mindset to the President and everybody.”

The President had on June 6 commenced a 10-day vacation and proceeded to London on the same day.

The Presidency had in a statement indicated that the President would during the visit to London see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a persistent ear infection.

The 10-day vacation ended on Wednesday.