Nigerian civil society leaders urge President Buhari to take medical leave


Nigerian civil society leaders have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take a medical leave, in an open letter sent on Monday.

President Buhari spent nearly two months in Britain earlier this year, seeking medical treatment for a disease that has not been disclosed.

The 74-year-old returned to Nigeria in March, but said he would need more time to reat, and would definitely be taking breaks for more health tests.

In a letter titled “President Buhari should take medical leave immediately”, a group of political activists noted his absence from the last two weekly cabinet meetings and speculation about his ability to run Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy.

“We are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay,” they said in the letter.

The letter was signed by 13 civil society leaders including human rights lawyer Femi Falana and Jibrin Ibrahim, an academic at a think-tank based in the capital Abuja.

Reuters reports Femi Adesina, one of Buhari’s spokesmen, to have declined to comment on the letter. Garba Shehu, another presidency spokesman, last week said Buhari received daily briefings on activities of government and met his vice president regularly.