President Muhammadu Buhari says the only way he can repay Nigerians for their prayers is for him to rededicate himself to serving them, protecting their interests and keeping their trust.
Buhari, who made his feelings known at a brief reception organised in his honour at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, expressed gratitude to all Nigerians – Muslims and Christians alike. According to him, the constant and persistent prayers offered by Nigerians over his health condition, testifies to their love for him and the country. “I am deeply grateful to all Nigerians – Muslims and Christians alike, who have prayed and continued to pray for my good health. “This is a testimony that in spite of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, they have continued to support the government in its efforts to tackle our country’s challenges.
“The best way for me to pay you all is to rededicate myself to serving you, protecting your interests, and keeping your trust. “I thank you very much. I feel much better now.’’ The President revealed that he might go back to London in a few weeks for a follow-up to his routine medical check-up. He appealed to Nigerians stay where they are and continue to pray for the country’s unity, progress and prosperity “rather than sending delegations to Abuja to welcome me’’.
“There may, however, be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks. “Rather than sending delegations to Abuja to welcome me, may I appeal to our people to continue to pray for the country’s unity, progress and prosperity. “I thank you very much and may God bless our country.’’
The President, who narrated his check-up experience while in London, said he had as much rest as could be humanly possible. He added that he received the best of treatments. He advised Nigerians against self-medication, saying, “I think one of the terrible things you can have is self drug administration.’’ He called on Nigerians to trust their doctors rather than embark on self drug administration.
“I could not recall being so sick since I was a young man, including the military with its ups and downs. “I found out that technology is developing so fast that if you have a lot of confidence you better keep it because you need it.
“Blood transfusions, going to the laboratories, and so on and so forth, but I am very pleased that we; when I say we, I mean the government and the people, all over are trying to keep up with technology. President Buhari stated that he purposely returned on Friday so he could continue to rest while acting President Yemi Osinbajo would continue.
In his remarks, the acting President thanked Buhari for respecting the constitution and entrusting him with power before travelling. Osinbajo said it was a tough job ‘‘going around in borrowed robes’’.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, thanked God for the safe return of the President, saying, “today is a day of joy for Nigerians, Africa and the world as the President arrived safely”.
Many top officials, including the Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari and the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, were among those who received the President at the helipad.