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President Muhammadu Buhari calls for Nigerian unity

August 21, 2017 6:02 pm

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation following three months of medical leave in the UK.

In a televised speech, Mr Buhari, 74, said he was “distressed” by calls for the dissolution of Nigeria, urging Nigerians to come together.

But the president failed to disclose his illness. It was his second spell of medical leave this year. Many Nigerians had called for him to resign during his absence, saying he was unfit to run the country. Others have called for more transparency over his condition, as speculation grows over whether he will be fit to seek a second term in 2019.

Vice-President’s Yemi Osinbajo has been in charge during his leave but Mr Buhari has now officially resumed his duties as president.

Speaking two days after his return, Mr Buhari said that comments around the dissolution of Nigeria had “crossed national red lines”.

“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable,” he said. “We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble.”

The president also made reference to ethnic violence in the country, blaming “political mischief-makers”. Ethnic tensions – with some calling for a separate state in the south-east known as Biafra – surfaced during his leave, while the war against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram continued in parts of the north.

Nigerians were hoping to find out just what’s wrong with the president. He has made some sort of recovery – in his last public appearance before he left in May, when he greeted the 82 released Chibok girls, he was barely able to stand.

On Monday, the president was eager to show that he is ready to take the reins again.

But the address will fail to answer the question on many people’s minds – does this ailing 74-year old man have the energy to lead?

Author: Staff Writer

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