The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in an interview with the Channels Television in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the president would be returning to Nigeria soonest as he was no longer “comfortable” with the extended vacation in London.
Although Garba did not give specific time and day of Buhari’s arrival, he told his listeners to “get ready to see President Buhari any moment from today”.
“As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to see the president in flesh and that will be soon as possible. The President (himself) is looking to being home to be with his people. I don’t think he is enjoying any longer with an extended vacation outside the country,’’ he said.
On the president’s telephone conversation with President Trump, Shehu described as “undiplomatic,’’ the request being made in some quarters for the release of the audio containing the conversation.
According to him, releasing an audio containing telephone conversation between two presidents is highly unethical and against modern day civilization.
“No, I don’t think so; I don’t think it is permitted in international diplomacy. I think if we had recorded Mr. Trump in this conversation it would have offended our diplomatic relations. I think the Americans themselves would not have recorded this conversation of president to president,” he said.
On the president’s test results being expected from his doctors, the presidential aide said he had no information on whether the president had collected the results or not.
“No, we have no information on that (test results). If he had received them, he would have been on the plane back home,’’ he said.
Shehu, who noted that there was no enough time for the two presidents to discuss other continental and international, however, expressed optimism that the conversation would boost the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the U.S.
“Well, there wasn’t enough time to talk about everything. I think the point at what will follow is in the invitation that President Trump has extended to our president (Buhari) to come over.
That is the kind of opportunity that was presented to Nigeria put all the issues on the desk.
As for their immigration policy, I think our president has been clear about one thing – the choices made by the Americans as to who to lead them in this case, Mr Trump, is entirely their own choice.
We have no business interfering with their domestic affairs.
As to the countries that have barred, it has been clearly specified and Nigeria did not feature in the list,” he said.
President Buhari left Nigeria on vacation to the United Kingdom on 19 January.
He was scheduled to return home on 5 February and resume work on 6 February. But in a last minute change of mind, he extended his vacation, indefinitely, based on doctor’s advice that he should wait for the result of various medical tests.
His wife, Aisha who was with him in London, went to perform the Umra in Mecca and returned to Nigeria at the weekend, thanking Nigerians for their prayers for her husband.
While in the UK, President Buhari has also been holding court with prominent Nigerians, such as APC leaders, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Bisi Akande, Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Senator Daisy Danjuma.
Political leaders, such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who had not visited Buhari in London have also engaged him on phone.