Nigeria’s president Buhari returns, carrying more questions than answers

Image: Sunday Aghaeze/Nigeria State House via AP
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He’d been gone for 50 days but Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari is finally back home—for now.

After a mystery-shrouded extended medical leave in the UK, Buhari landed in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital today (March 10). Buhari’s absence has been officially attributed to an unspecified ailment. Details remain scant.

So after nearly two months, it’s still unclear what required such apparently extensive treatment—and what the prognosis for his long-term health might be. Stoking more uncertainty, Buhari, in a video message, hinted that his return might be temporary, saying there may be need “for further followup within some weeks.”

In the UK, Buhari underwent tests and a blood transfusion as part of his treatment, Nigeria’s The Cable reports. “I have rested as much as humanly possible, I have received I think the best of treatment I could receive. I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including the military with its ups and downs,” he said in a meeting with government officials.

His absence has added stress in an oil-rich country struggling to stabilize its economy, attract international investment and battle Islamic insurgents. Now Buhari appears set to take the reins from vice president Yemi Osinbajo who’s been in charge as acting president.