The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who spoke with reporters at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as the President was leaving for London, said it was wrong to refer to the “ear infection” as “illness”.
According to him, there is nothing wrong for a President to take 15 days rest in one year in office.
He said: “The buzz going round town is that the President is ‘ill’, but ‘ill’ will be a misnomer, it should not be the right word to use.
“The President is going for a 10-day rest and during that period he will see specialists who will look at his ear because he has been treating that ear locally for sometime.
“Nigerian physicians have looked at it and now they have said you are going to UK, now that you will be there let specialists look at the ear. They have treated it locally, so it is not a question of whether the President is ill. If he is ill, it presupposes that there are certain things that he cannot do.
“Till the very last minute that he is traveling, the President performed the duties and functions of his office as the President.
“So illness is not the issue, but as a human being yes he can rest. He has been President for one full year; you know that in February he took five days leave; he is taking another 10 days now; that means 15 days leave in one year.
“You and I take more than that, so it is natural that the President as a human being is taking 10 days rest but he is not ill.”
He urged Nigerians to show goodwill and patriotism, pray and wish the President well.
“Things about health, life and death are in the hands of God, but I believe that all is well with out President and God will take care of him and take care of the country,” Adesina said.
Asked of his message to Nigerians, President Buhari said: “I have already told Nigerians that I am going for 10 days to get my ear checked.”
Replying to the question on how to calm the tension that will follow a President falling sick, Buhari fired back: “Is there anybody that doesn’t fall sick?”
On whether he has informed the National Assembly as required by the law, he said: “The National Assembly knows; they have been formally informed.”
By informing the National Assembly, Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution allows Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to be Acting President.