By Emmanuel Aziken and Charles Kumolu*
President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to seek medical attention abroad was based on prior appointment with his doctors who have treated him over the years, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said.
Speaking in an interview Sunday, Adesina said Buhari was well informed of the difficulties Nigerians are passing through even as he said that the ensuing economic recession which he described as inevitable would soon end. Mr. Adesina who spoke in an interview on Channels Television Sunday night also rebuffed claims of a media clampdown even as he affirmed that the president had received the report on the Attorney General’s investigations into the allegations levelled against some high-profile administration officials.
Against the background of outrage in some sections of the public that President Buhari resorted to foreign doctors despite the N3 billion provisions for the State House Clinic in the 2017 budget, Adesina said that the president needed a consistency in his medical evaluation which he said he could only get from the United Kingdom based doctors he said had been attending to him over the years.
Asked if the president was conscious of the difficulties in the land, he recounted an encounter he had with the president when he, Adesina told him of difficulties in the land. “I know because I have people coming to visit me here and they tell me what they are passing through,” Adesina quoted President Buhari as saying even as he said the administration was forging policies to address the issue.
He promised that before the end of the year that things will begin to change noting optimistic predictions for the economy by global economic institutions. “Recession was inevitable the way Nigeria had been run and three, four years ago it was known that it was bound to happen,” he said.
Mr. Adesina, himself a former president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE rebuffed claims that the Buhari administration had embarked on a clampdown on the media noting that journalists as everyone else were not above the law. He also said that the president would in due course take action on the report on the investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against some high-level officials of the administration.