Buhari’s orchestrated trip to US causes commotion

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in February elections, General Muhammadu Buhari, is scheduled to leave Nigeria any moment from now for medical check in the United States of America (USA), authoritative sources in the polity have said.

But the Buhari campaign group, in a swift reaction, denied that the retired General was going for treatment.

Information about the trip has been causing stir, accusations and counter-accussations in political circles.

Sources in the military, diplomatic and political circles confirmed on Saturday that the General has already completed a visa application to the USA.

It was not confirmed which ailment the General is suffering from, but a source said that the APC candidate was scheduled to leave the country on or before January 26.

Said a source: “I can confirm to you that arrangements are in top gear for General Buhari to visit a USA hospital for medical attention before the 14 February polls.

“He has been stressed from effects of the rigours of presidential campaigns across the country and he is definitely in need of medical attention. Age could also be a factor in this as the rigours and stress of campaigns has started getting at him.”

It was confirmed that the General had completed the visa application already and is scheduled to take off any moment from now.

Another source further said: “General Buhari has completed the online visa form to the USA for medical scrutiny. He would leave Nigeria on or before January 26. The strain of campaigns has added to his failing health. A Nigerian medical team provided by two serving governors is working with top USA doctors to handle the former head of state.”

It was, however, gathered that the APC is moving to douse any form of tension around the trip and make it look like a routine medical trip.

Sources confirmed that as part of the plans, top APC chieftains are also scheduled to travel to different parts of Europe, especially France and the United Kingdom (UK) when Buhari would be away.

Ekiti State governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose, had, in a news report on Friday, alleged that the APC might be planning something close to the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua/Goodluck Jonathan experience which led to Jonathan’s take over of presidential power in 2010.

But the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation said in a statement on Friday that Nigerians should ignore Fayose, describing his utterances about Buhari as “utterly silly and reckless statement.”

The organisation, in the statement issued in Abuja on Friday, dismissed what it called “unsolicited, reckless and silly” statement credited to Fayose which indicated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was planning an imposition of General Buhari on Nigeria as he allegedly did the late Yar’Adua while ignoring their health conditions.

The statement read further that: “GMB is fit as a fiddle,” adding that the General was a “health freak” who exercises regularly and keeps his health regime.

The organisation’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who signed the statement, said Buhari “has no known ailment and is in excellent condition to pilot the affairs of the country.

“On each occasion, the outcomes of those medicals have been favourable. The recent medicals he did gave him a clean bill of health.

“GMB is not given to cursing; otherwise, he would have done as the late President Nnamdi Azikiwe did when a similar mischief played out over his health. Zik swore that whoever did this to him would expire before him, and they all did.”

Shehu, in another statement made available to Sunday Tribune on Saturday, further denied that the General was travelling to the USA for medical check, adding that those who were peddling rumour that he had cancer were evil.

“As a prominent leader of the opposition, many interests across the globe want him (GMB) over for political and diplomatic consultations. The invitation to the US may not be unconnected to this,” he said. [Tribune]

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