According to him, the president is no longer “enjoying his stay’’ outside the country and will be back anytime soon. He did not say when.
Mr. Buhari travelled to the United Kingdom on January 19 to rest and undergo some medical check-ups. He promised in a letter to the National Assembly and a statement to Nigerians that he would resume work on February 6. But on February 5, Mr. Buhari informed the Senate that he would not be able to return as he had promised.
He needed more time for more check-ups, he said, but he did not specify when he would be back.
Days before the extension of his vacation, rumours had spread in Nigeria like wildfire that he was either dead or in a very poor health.
But the presidency dismissed them as the handiwork of mischief makers and warned that those behind the fake news would be punished.
Since then, Nigerians have been waiting for their President to return. On Monday, after Mr. Buhari spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump, many Nigerians continued to doubt that the call even took place.
Many called for a proof, especially because neither the State Department nor the White House mentioned the phone call with President Buhari.
But Mr. Shehu said the call took place and the President was ready to resume work.
“As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to see the president in fresh and that will be soon as possible,” he said..
“The President is looking to being home to be with his people. I don’t think he is enjoying any longer with an extended vacation outside the country.’’
He insisted that President Buhari and President Trump spoke, but rejected calls to make their conversation public, saying it would be “undiplomatic”.
He said releasing an audio containing a telephone conversation between two presidents is unethical.
“I don’t think it is permitted in international diplomacy. I think if we had recorded Mr Trump in this conversation it would have offended our diplomatic relations,” he said, according to The News Agency of Nigeria.
“I think the Americans themselves would not have recorded this conversation of president to president,’’ he added.