Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, again, stirred the hornet’s nest on Friday when he declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) for medical treatment in a London hospital, as against the working visit claimed by his party.
APC Presidential Campaign Organisation’s Director of Media, Shehu Garba, had in a statement on Thursday, said that while in London, “Buhari will hold meetings with key members of the British political establishment and interact with some global institutions with interest in the affairs of Nigeria.”
However, Fayose, whose recent advert in a national daily (not Saturday Independent) portrayed the APC presidential candidate as having ill-heath and may not be fit to govern the country generated controversy, insisted that the trip was a vindication of his earlier stand that Buhari was sick and lacked the required capacity to rule Nigeria.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and News Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor described the claim by the APC that Buhari would give a talk at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House in London, as a “deceit taken too far.”
He said: “As against the claim of the APC that Buhari was on a short working visit to the UK, Buhari is being treated at a hospital located at Cavendish Street, Cavendish Square, W2 London West End, London,” adding; “the event listed on Royal Institute of International Affairs website; http//www.chathamhouse.org/events to hold on February 23 and 24 is ‘Security and Defence: Rising powers and the future of defence cooperation,’ and Buhari’s name is not listed among the speakers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the event’s keynote speakers are former Brazil Minister of Defence, Celsius Amorin; Chief of Defence Staff, UK Ministry of Defence, General (Sir) Nicholas Houghton; Chief Executive of BAE System, Ian King, and Secretary General, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Dr. Abdulatif Bin Rashid Al Zayani.
“Apart from the above listed five persons, 25 others are listed as speakers.
“So, in which Royal Institute of International Affairs’ event is Buhari participating as a speaker?
“This is not to mock Buhari or wish him dead. Rather, it is to expose the falsehood of the APC and desperation of its leaders, especially Senator Bola Tinubu, to foist another Yar’Adua saga on Nigeria.”
The governor maintained, “the truth is that Buhari travelled out on Thursday to seek medicare in UK and he was attended to at a hospital located in Cavendish Street, Cavendish Square, W2 London West End, London, on Friday.
“If the APC people are saying otherwise, let them publish the picture of Buhari boarding the plane and granting interview to aviation correspondents at the Abuja asirport.
“While I am happy that the APC people that are packaging Buhari
finally hearkened to my plea that they should allow him (Buhari) to
seek medicare abroad, I must say that it is unpatriotic for the APC to have lied that Buhari travelled on a working visit.
“The party should be honest enough to tell Nigerians that Buhari is actually sick and lack capacity to rule Nigeria and that they are only packaging him, hoping that he will become incapacitated if he becomes president,” Fayose said.
Reacting to the development in an interview with our correspondent, Shehu said: “From the day Fayose, the Ekiti State governor published Buhari in a coffin, he has wished him dead. The fact that Buhari is alive up till today is making him a sad man.
“We were not surprised that even when our candidate went for a top level engagement, Fayose has not given up on his death wish. It is God that decides who lives or dies. By God’s grace, Buhari will live longer than him.
“Fayose had wished him dead, but God will disappoint him. We are not surprised by his comment. We won’t waste time to join issues with him,” Shehu said.