Is President Muhammadu Buhari dead or alive? Is he coming back to Nigeria anytime soon or would he be staying in London for some months to attend to his health?
Is the President even sick as many believe or hale and hearty as government officials have repeatedly claimed?
Is he incapacitated? Can he rule again? Is the government telling Nigerians the truth? Is there pressure on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to resign so that a northerner can replace Buhari who is a northerner from Katsina state?
Those are a slew of questions Nigerians all over the world are grappling to find answers to.
As a journalist who has followed it all, let me summarise.
Numbers have an easy way of telling a better story.
- President Muhammadu Buhari, who was born on 17 December 1942 and would be clocking 75 years in December, is an old man who can fall sick like any other person, especially when you have spent close to eight decades on planet earth.
- He came to power on 29 May 2015 after beating former President Goodluck Jonathan in a tough and highly competitive election in March of that same year
- On January 19, Mr. Buhari left Nigeria for his medical vacation in London. He had earlier sent a letter to the Senate that he was handing power over to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
- The letter he sent the Natioinal Assembly indicated that his vacation would start on January 23 and would end on February 5.
- He said he would resume work on February 6.
- But on Sunday, February 5, Mr. Buhari wrote another letter to the Senate, explaining that he could not make it again to Nigeria at the date he had earlier given them. He said he would have to stay in the United Kingdom for sometime to attend to his health
- His doctors, he added, had advised him to complete some tests.
- He did not state when he would be coming back
- The Nigerian constitution does not specify how long can a President stay away before he is declared incapacitated
- Rumours had spread that the President was either dead or in a very poor health, even to the point of incapacitation
- The Presidency and the Ministry of Information dismissed those rumours as the handiwork of mischief makers.
- The government insisted that the President was hale and hearty and would soon be back.
- The Acting President, The Speaker of the House of Representatives, a Minister and others said they spoke with the President on the phone and everything was just fine.
- Buhari’s elder sister also said she spoke with him and everything was fine.
- In an interview with the BBC, Femi Adesina, Mr. Buhari’s spokesman, said the President was not sick
- He said the President would be back very soon.
- In an interview with Channels TV, Garba Shehu, another spokesman for President Buhari, said the President was homesick and would be back in a matter of days.
- Mr. Buhari spoke with Donald Trump two days ago
- Mr. Buhari has been seen in pictures with Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the APC
- Mr. Buhari has not granted any interview since he travelled to London
- It is now February 15 and in 4 days, it would be February 19, a full month since Mr. Buhari left Nigeria for his medical vacation.
- According to the Constitution, if Mr. Buhari is incapacitated, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo should become President and he should appoint a Vice President
- This is all we know for now.