President Muhammadu Buhari made a surprise return to the country on Friday after attending the Special Session of the United Nations Environmental Programme ([email protected]) in Kenya.
Buhari was billed to travel from Kenya to London for a routine medical check-up, a statement by the Presidency had said on Monday.
He was billed to spend a maximum of two weeks in London.
But one of Buhari’s aides, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted on Friday morning that the president had returned to the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja, after his participation in the 50th Anniversary of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya,” Mr Ahmad said on his Twitter handle @BashirAhmaad.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, was also quoted as saying Buhari returned to Abuja after an early completion of his task in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
On whether the President had shelved his trip to London, Shehu said, “No, he hasn’t shelved his trip to London. The plan is still there. He finished his business in Kenya and made an early return. The trip to London is Sunday.”
While in Kenya, Buhari reportedly held a Town Hall Meeting with a group of Nigerian residents in the country where he reassured them of their safety.
According to him, his administration will continue to defend the interest of Nigerians wherever they may be as the nation begins the evacuation of citizens stranded following the Russia/Ukraine war.
Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesperson said in a statement on Friday that the president, who was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, said: “On our part as a government, we shall continue to defend the interests of all Nigerians wherever they may be.
“We have demonstrated this over time, as we have had cause to evacuate our citizens in harm’s way abroad.
“We did it in Libya, South Africa and we have just commenced doing the same in Ukraine, where thousands of our citizens, especially students, are trapped by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.”
Upon his return, Buhari joined hundreds of Muslim faithful to perform Jumaat prayers at the Aso Villa Mosque in Abuja.
After the prayer the president continued with his official engagements in the villa.