Punch

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and some principal officers of the National Assembly are currently in the United Kingdom to visit President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on medical leave.

The National Assembly leaders left Nigeria for London today, it was learnt.

Premium Times

Saraki, Dogara, two others travel to London to meet Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara

Senate President Bukola Saraki is leading a four-member delegation of National Assembly members to see President Muhammadu Buhari in London.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, and Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, will meet the president who travelled to the UK for a 10-day vacation on January 19, but later extended the trip indefinitely.

Wole Oladimeji, Mr. Lasun’s spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES the leaders are off to see Mr. Buhari.

Mr. Oladimeji, however, added that his principal will not be leaving until tomorrow due to an ongoing gathering of ECOWAS parliamentarians in Abuja.

“The Deputy Speaker is part of the delegation but he is going to meet them in London tomorrow,” Mr. Oladimeji told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone. “A meeting of ECOWAS parliament is going on now in Abuja and he had to be there.”

Although the motive of the trip has not been officially disclosed, there are strong indications that it has to do with Mr. Buhari’s health.

It came exactly a week after the president called Mr. Dogara and Mr. Saraki, and both confirmed the president was in good spirit.

“He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he’s resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves,” Mr. Dogara had said.

Mr. Buhari departed Nigeria on January 19 on a 10-day leave,.

He transmitted a letter to the National Assembly to extend his vacation on February 5, fuelling speculations that his health had deteriorated.

But top administration officials maintain the president’s health was sound.

“Let me first say the president is hale and hearty,” Acting President Yemi Osinbajo told reporters in the State House last week Tuesday. “I spoke to him just this afternoon and we had a fairly long conversation; he is in good shape and very chatty.”