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President Buhari Still Working From London - Minister Kachikwu Says

Dr Ibe Kachikwu,minister of state for petroleum says that President Buhari is still working from London where he is currently receiving medical

Kachikwu, who put up a strong defence for
Nigeria’s sick President during a BBC Hard Talk interview in London on Monday, also stated that Buhari had mandated his ministers to stop flying private jets.

The minister said that executive members had
been mandated by the President to fly business class in commercial airlines.When asked about the state of health of the President as his
latest medical vacation entered its second
week, Kachikwu replied, “Yes, he is in London.
He is undergoing hospital treatment, (but) I
don’t know the details of that and I obviously wouldn’t know. But let me say this, he returned
from his first trip in London, even though the doctors advised him to have some rest.

“He’s back to London and he has
continued some levels of meetings and
has been able to play some roles. He has a very efficient Vice-President who
is sitting in for him in his absence. It really hasn’t made much of a difference.”

On whether the President had been transparent
enough to Nigerians as regards his health challenges, the petroleum resources minister
stated that Nigerians were aware of the fact
that Buhari ‘is not too well’.
When asked what was wrong with
Buhari, the minister said, “I don’t know.
But let’s face it; who in the world goes
around giving to everybody what their
medical statuses are? The doctors have
got to be able to release something
official and he’s working through it. It
has not become a major problem.”
When probed further on the capability of
the President to continue in office, the
minister said, “Well, we’ve heard rumours
in Nigeria about sick presidents off and
on, most of them sometimes not quite
correct. Will he be able to lead Nigeria? I
think looking at the sort of conversations
I had with him when he came back, he
was strong enough to do his work,
struggled a bit in terms of trying to fully
“Nobody plans on illness, it happens. He
has an efficient number two man; the
system works, that’s the whole essence
of democracy. He’s on top of his
abilities to be able to issue policies and
to be able to approve what he needs to
be approved.”Kachikwu maintained that
President Buhari still had the ability to deliver his promises and to take the country to the next level of development.

Asked to explain why Nigeria still has about 11
aircraft for ministerial use despite the economy
suffering a recession, the minister said, “There
isn’t any aircraft for ministerial use. Ministers
don’t use (private) aircraft, we travel public.
There are some presidential jets, some of which
have been put up for sale, although I don’t have
the details.
“But I think it is down from an initial of
about 11 or 12 to something like about
seven and only two or three are really in
proper condition. And I know he’s given some authorisation for some to be sold.
So in terms of numerical accountability he has reduced that substantially.

Ministers are tied to travelling business class by commercial airlines.”

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