‘Hidden’ Buhari Speaks to Trump from London Vacation
By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday afternoon had a telephone chat with President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump.
Mr Buhari, who many Nigerians have not seen or heard from since he left the country for vacation and medical check-up on January 19, spoke from his present base in London with President Trump on telephone at his (Mr Trump) request.
A statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Monday evening explained that, “The conversation was cordial” and that “President Buhari congratulated Mr Trump on his election as President of the United States, and on his cabinet.”
He added that the “two leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through provision of necessary equipment” and that “President Trump encouraged President Buhari to keep up the good work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok Girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.”
Mr Adesina said President Trump assured his Nigerian counterpart of US readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism and then “invited President Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date.”
The 74-year-old Nigerian President left Nigeria January 19 and was to return on February 5, but on that day, Mr Adesina released a statement informing Nigerians that the vacation had been extended indefinitely.
This came after rumours were rife that the President had died or was seriously ill.
This later led people to start making comparison with the 2010 incident involving late President Umaru Yar’Adua, whose whereabouts was kept secret.