Saturday, 6 May 2017

Buhari attends Jumat in first public appearance after two weeks

President Muhammadu Buhari joined scores of Muslims yesterday to observe the Jumat prayers at the Presidential Villa Mosque, Abuja.

It was his first public appearance in two weeks, and it came amidst concerns about his health.

He was absent at last week’s Jumat prayers and the last two meetings of the Federal Executive Council.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed had told reporters that the President’s absence on those occasions was meant to enable him to rest.

The First Lady, Aisha, said the President’s ill health was not as bad as was being speculated.

Buhari, accompanied by a retinue of aides, walked from his residence yesterday to the mosque at about 1.23 pm.

He wore a white babanriga with a cap to match.

As he stepped out of the mosque after the prayers, he asked for the whereabouts of his Personal Assistant on Photography, Mr Bayo Omoboriowo.

He then exchanged pleasantries with some of those in attendance at the Jumat.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Mongunu; Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura; and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru were among the people at the Jumat.

President Buhari had planned to host President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic yesterday.

The visit was however rescheduled at the instance of Issoufou who was said to have a domestic engagement. Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said on Thursday night that all arrangements had been concluded for President Buhari to receive his Nigerien counterpart and his delegation at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa.

”A new date for the visit will be announced in due course,’’ Adesina said.

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