When President Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria on January 19 on a 10-day vacation in the United Kingdom, nobody knew it was going to turn into one big controversial drama.
Since he went on vacation, there have been rumours in several quarters. One of such rumour was that the president was dead but this has since been debunked.
Some have been speculating that the president is seriously sick although the presidency has maintained that he is hale and hearty.
Things got worse when report surfaced that President Buhari had asked to extend his leave to carry out some more test and did not give a specific date he would be coming back.
Nigerians have been asking for proof that Buhari is doing well. They want the president to address the nation and not just the photos which the presidency has been releasing to calm the tension.
Here is what we know so far about the drama surrounding Buhari’s vacation.
January 19: Buhari left for the UK on a 10-day vacation where he would undergo routine medical check-ups. Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the president will return on February 6.
January 21: The presidency denied a report by some media that Buhari, who is holidaying abroad is dead.
January 22: Buhari took to his personal Twitter handle to share a picture of himself lounging in the UK and watching political television show ‘Sunday Politics’ on Channels to show Nigerians that he is alive and well.
January 25: Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed said those peddling ‘fake news’ about the president’s health will be prosecuted, while urging Nigerians to ignore ‘rumours’ as the president is healthy.
January 26: Adesina said the president cannot be compelled to speak from the UK to dispel rumour making the round on his state of health as it would be an infringement on his rights.
January 27: The Nigeria Labour Congress has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to come out and address the nation so as to dispel rumour about his death.
January 28: Buhari was visited by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state as well as Daisy Danjuma, a former senator.
January 29: Buhari again dispelled rumours of his alleged death with photos of him and his wife Aisha Buhari in the UK.
January 30: Buhari pictured having dinner with Governor Amosun.
January 30: Buhari called the minister of sports and youths development, Solomon Dalung from London over the death of his wife.
February 3: Former president Olusegun Obasanjo reacted to the rumour that Buhari had died describing those peddling the rumour as wicked.
February 4: Minister of communications Adebayo Shittu emphasized “President Buhari is not dead’’ then advised Nigerians to continue to pray for him.
February 5: Lai Mohammed denied reports attributed to him claiming that Buhari won’t return because of faulty aircraft.
February 5: President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the Senate requested an extension to his vacation as he had to “requested an extension to his vacation as he had to “complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.”
February 5: Adesina said only Buhari can tell Nigerians about his current state of health and the specific date he will return.
February 6: The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said he had a telephone conversation with Buhari and assured the nation that he was hale and hearty and would return home as soon as he completes the necessary tests recommended by his doctors in the UK.
February 6: Femi Adesina confessed to not being able to reach his boss directly.
February 8: Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari always wanted a vice president that could hold the country together should he die in office.
February 8: The federal government revealed that Buhari is hale and hearty and not seriously ill as some Nigerians have been speculating.
February 8: Senate president Bukola Saraki said he spoke with the president and he sounded quite like his old self.
February 8: Hajiya Rakiya, the only surviving elder sister of President Buhari said she speaks with the president every day since he travelled to London.
February 9: Report surfaced that Buhari is scheduled to return to the country from his vacation this Saturday.
February 9: Buhari spoke with the country’s number four citizen, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara.
February 9: The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, insists President Muhammadu Buhari is not in any hospital in the United Kingdom.
February 9: The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a chieftain of the party, Bisi Akande paid a courtesy visit to the president in London.
February 9: Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state wished Buhari speedy recovery, calling on Nigerians to pray for the president’s speedy recovery.
February 10: Governor Bindow Mohammed Jibrilla of Adamawa state announced that the state will, today and Sunday, February 12, offer special prayers in mosques and churches for the speedy recovery of President Buhari.