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Buhari returns to Nigeria after London treatment

President Muhammadu Buhari arrived back in Nigeria on Friday after nearly two months in London receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

The 74-year-old landed at the airport in the northern city of Kaduna at about 7:40 am (0640 GMT) and was flown by helicopter to the capital, Abuja, according to an AFP photographer and TV pictures.

In Abuja, the head of state, wearing a black kaftan and hat, stepped off the helicopter and walked across the tarmac to be greeted by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

A Periscope video on the Twitter account of the presidency’s digital communications team showed him greeted by security chiefs and other senior government officials.

He was then driven away in a black official car.

Buhari flew to London on January 19, officially on holiday and to have what his office said were “routine medical check-ups” for an undisclosed condition.

But while he was away, aides had to counter persistent rumours online that he was seriously ill or even dead, despite photographs showing him meeting senior Nigerian politicians.

Buhari had previously travelled to London in June last year to receive treatment for what was described as a persistent inner ear infection.

The presidency announced his return on Thursday evening. Earlier in the day he looked painfully thin in photographs of his meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.


© Agence France-Presse