Nigeria’s president Muhammdu Buhari is traveling to London on another medical trip today (May 8), some eight months after returning from the last one. The trip will last four days, the presidency says.
It’s Buhari’s third trip to London since the start of last year. The first medical trip, in February 2017, lasted 50 days while he was away for over 100 days for the second between May and August. At the time, Buhari left the door open to further trips to seek further treatment. It’s Buhari fourth medical trip since taking office: in June 2016, he visited London over an ear infection. Unlike that trip however, the president’s more recent ailments remain undisclosed despite his lengthy stays.
Buhari’s preference for seeking treatment abroad—like many African leaders—is at odds with his administration’s rhetoric of stopping public office holders from spending taxpayer money on foreign medical trips.
The president’s health has remained a hot-button issue locally as a lack of information from the presidency—a preferred tactic for ailing Nigerian presidents—has opened to door to intense speculation. The president’s health will likely come under even more scrutiny in the coming months as he hits the campaign trail after confirming a re-election bid in 2019.