Alhaji Lai Mohammad, the Minister of Information and Culture, has on Wednesday explained to Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm on President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
He emphatically said that the President was neither sick not ill.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Mohammed said there was nothing unusual in Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo standing in for Buhari at the meeting.
The minister said, “Clearly when we came in this morning, Mr. President was not in the chambers but the Vice-President did preside over the council meeting. Understandably, that has sparked a lot of controversies and imputations in the minds of people.
“I just want to make this clear that Mr. President is in town. Mr. President is attending to other issues. He looked at the agenda, he found out that it was a very light agenda and decided that the Vice-President should preside.
“It is not unusual for the kind of interest that is shown especially given the fact that Mr. President was away for a while on medical treatment. We are not surprised that people will be wondering whether he is ill again.
“He is not ill, he is not sick. I am sure that later in the day or tomorrow (Thursday) morning, he will be back in the office. I just want to clear that misconception.
“It is not unusual even if Mr. President is hale and hearty and everything is going on well, for the Vice-President to come and preside over meetings of the Federal Executive Council.
“The fact that Mr. President is not in the office does not mean that he is not working. I have just been told now that the SGF is already with him in the residence working. So, the fact that you did not see him in the office does not mean that he is not working at all.”