ALTHOUGH there are speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon return home from his medical vacation in the United Kingdom, a selected number of governors left the shores of Nigeria on Tuesday night to pay the recuperating President a solidarity visit.
Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari is leading the delegation of governors which also includes Ebonyi – Dave Umahi, Kano – Umar Gandoje, Borno – Kassim Shettima, Benue – Samuel Ortom, Akwa Ibom – Udom Emmanuel and Oyo – Abiola Ajumobi.
The presidential media team, comprising Garba Shehu, Femi Adesina and Laolu Akande briefed State House correspondents of the latest development on Tuesday.
When asked why Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose who had been quite vocal on the state of health of the President was not among the delegation, Shehu explained that the visiting team was at the discretion of the governors forum.
“The selection was by the governors forum and you will see that the delegation is headed by governor Yari who is chairman of that forum. So that question should go to the forum,” he stated.
According to the SSA the governors were simply embarking on goodwill visit and “there was nothing more to that.
“I believe Nigerians in various positions have been yarning to go visit the President and at some point this obviously has not been permitted.
“But given the change in circumstances you can see that is coming from London itself and from the President is welcoming. Is a goodwill visit”.
As a means of justifying the visit, he described Nigerians as cultural people who normally visit somebody that may have been discharged from the hospital.
“Nigerians visit people leaving hospital and I’m sure the president himself will be delighted to see people coming from the six geo-political zones, coming to convey the goodwill of Nigerians”.
Asked why the President’s media handlers were not part of the visiting team, Shehu again absolved his colleagues, saying the President’s Personal photographer Bayo Omoboriwo was part of the delegation and would dish out pictures to Nigerians when he returns.
“Well, how about you thinking about it this way, probably we will be saving money. Let me tell you, you know I have respects for photographers, we all do and the cameramen. Bayo Omoboriwo is on the flight which is more important than me being there, which he is.
”They say pictures convey more than a thousand words, Bayo will be there and I think it will be more beneficial to Nigerians than if the Special Adviser was on that trip without a cameraman” he said.
The media team was also prodded on the rationale for the governors to pay another visit despite the possibility of the President returning soon since he has been confirmed to be recuperating well.
Adesina rose to the defence, saying “It should be the other way. Instead of being curious it should be the right time for the visit like Garba said earlier. When somebody has recovered or something or the other happened, it is in our culture for us to visit such a person.”
The visit comes a few days after some APC leaders and governors visited the president on Sunday.
Mr. Buhari has been in London for over 70 days for medical treatment.