By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
Federal Government said Wednesday that there was no basis to compare the health condition of President Muhammadu Buhari with what played out during the late Umaru Yar’Adua presidency.
Minister of Iinformation and Culture, Lai Mohammed told State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that President Buhari was not ill and not in any danger that would call for panic.
Lai Muhammed who was asked why he had failed to provide adequate information about the health status of President Buhari while he challenged the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2010 to do same when tje late President Yar’Adua was sick, said, it was like comparing apples and oranges.
He declared that President Muhammadu Buhari was not in hospital in London, United Kingdom (UK) and was also not in danger concerning his health condition.
President Buhari is currently in the UK, waiting to undergo series of medical tests as recommended by his Doctors.
The President had proceeded for a 10-day vacation on 19th January 2017 and handed over to Vice President Osinbajo in acting capacity.
The President in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity Femi Adesina said during the period, he would under-go routine medical check-up before returning to the country. Last week, President Buahri wrote to both leadership of the National Assembly informing the lawmakers of his desire to extend the vacation to enable him complete more tests.
But the information minister insisted that President Buhari was not ill but hale and hearty. He said there was no cause for alarm.
Lai explained that the controversy about the health condition of the President had only played out because of the nature of his transparency. According to him, the President was a victim of transparency.
“I think I can say without any equivocation that he is well, he is hale and he is hearty no question about that.
“Mr. President is not ill, he is not in hospital, there will be no need to give anybody hourly bulletin about his health pure and simple,” the minister noted.
“Mr. President like I said elsewhere is a victim of his own transparency, he was going on leave, he did what the constitution said he should do, he transmitted letter to the National Assembly and an acting President was out in place and he said while I am on leave, I am going to conduct some medical tests which all us do without announcing it.
“And of course less than six hours after he got there he was pronounced dead by some people. Even those who saw him climb the aircraft in Abuja said he was flown by air ambulance. I can assure you that Mr. President is well, is hale and hearty and no cause for concern. The Acting President speaks to him every day and he told you so,” Lai said.
The information minister said that he would however not blame President Buhari for the death rumour that has followed for vacation abroad. “I won’t blame Mr. President too because this is the third time you are declaring him dead.
Asked why President Buhari was going on vacation at a time when Nigeria was in recession, Lai said “our constitution guarantees that. Did Obama not go on leave, do other presidents not go on leave.
“Mr. President will go on vacation when he has to go on vacation. Do you know how many ministers have gone on vacation this year? To say Mr. President cannot go on vacation that is ridiculous.
“You see on a lighter note, do you think Mr. President will be ill and we will be here and go about our business like this? He was in Anambra two three days ago, I was in Ilorin on Monday, all our ministers our busy. But I was to assure you that Mr. President is well and he is absolutely in no danger.
“I think it was one of the newspapers that said when I was the spokesman of Action Congress (AC), I demanded for hourly bulletin of Yar’Adua’s health and that I ought to be giving hourly bulletin as minister of information on the health of the President. And I said you are comparing Apple and oranges.