Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, August 21, 2017

Few words, no details

Nigeria's president is back, but still unwilling to share details of his absence.

President Buhari in plea for Nigerian unity
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed the nation following three months of medical leave in the UK.

In a televised speech, Mr Buhari, 74, said he was "distressed" by calls for the dissolution of Nigeria, urging Nigerians to come together.

But the president failed to disclose his illness. It was his second spell of medical leave this year…

Speaking two days after his return, Mr Buhari said that comments around the dissolution of Nigeria had "crossed national red lines".

"Nigeria's unity is settled and not negotiable," he said. "We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble."…

Commentary by Stephanie Hegarty, BBC News, Lagos

Nigerians were hoping to find out just what's wrong with the president - to get some clarity on the mystery illness that had him absent from his job.

But it seems the presidency intends to keep Mr Buhari's condition a secret.

They may have trouble convincing the public to believe the line they've been touting for months that the president is "hale and hearty". He was visibly thin and frail as he greeted politicians on Saturday.

He has made some sort of recovery - in his last public appearance before he left in May… he was barely able to stand…

His main opponents in Nigeria's 2015 election had claimed he had prostate cancer - which he denied.

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