NIGERIA’S PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has asked the parliament to extend his medical leave in the UK, amid concerns that his health may be worse than officials are publicly saying.
The 74-year-old leader, who has been out of the country for two weeks, was expected to return to Abuja on Sunday.
An official statement said he had been advised by doctors to await the results of a series of tests.
However, it did not say how much extra time would be needed.
There was also no mention of what the medical checks were for.
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Analysts say that Mr Buhari’s extended absence could further erode confidence in his administration which is already under pressure due to a weak economy and the conflict with Boko Haram Islamist militants in the north-east of the country.
The country is currently suffering from its worst economic crisis in years, following a sharp in the price of oil, its major export.
Businesses and investors complain that the government’s handling of the currency exchange rate has made a bad situation even worse, and there have been demonstrations against the lack of jobs and high inflation.
Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo is taking on presidential responsibilities while the president is abroad.
It is the second time in less than a year that Mr Buhari has sought medical assistance overseas. Last June, he spent nearly two weeks, again in London, for treatment for an ear infection.
The trip to the UK appears to roll back on the commitment to tighten up on government officials seeking medical attention abroad. BBC