Nigeria: Families of Kidnapped Girls Welcome Buhari’s Return

Among those who joined the First Lady in welcoming the president are his daughter, Zahra Buhari, the wife of the vice president Oludolapo Osinbajo and many other women.

ABUJA, NIGERIA — On his arrival at the Kaduna Airport, President Muhammadu Buhari was met by politicians and dignitaries who welcomed him home after a long stay in the United Kingdom, where he went for medical vacation. The president was immediately transported from Kaduna to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city on the  presidential chopper.

Video: President Muhammadu Buhari safely landed in Kaduna

In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the presidential palace upon his arrival from medical vacation in Abuja, Nigeria, March 10, 2017.

Shortly after arriving from London on Friday, the 74-year-old former general told officials he would need more rest and health tests, raising questions about his ability to run Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation.

Blood Transfusion

There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari had blood transfusion while he was away in the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

The president while speaking with top government officials on Friday, March 10, after his return said he could not recall the last time he had a blood transfusion in his life, Punch reports.

Among those who joined the First Lady in welcoming the president are his daughter, Zahra Buhari, the wife of the vice president Oludolapo Osinbajo and many other women.

While speaking on his health and challenges he faced during his medical vacation President Buhari said: “I couldn’t recall when last I had blood transfusion; I couldn’t recall honestly, I can say in my 70 years (sic).”

“I couldn’t recall when last I had blood transfusion” – Buhari

The president while speaking with top government officials on Friday, March 10, after his return said he could not recall the last time he had a blood transfusion in his life, Punch reports.

While speaking on his health and challenges he faced during his medical vacation President Buhari said: “I couldn’t recall when last I had blood transfusion; I couldn’t recall honestly, I can say in my 70 years (sic).”

While the president identified the major problem facing Nigeria’s health system is self-treatment, he however, did not say if that led to the health complications he suffered.

He said: “I think one of our terrible things is self-drug administration. We have to trust our doctors more and trust ourselves more.”

“Where I visited, they only take drug when it is absolutely necessary. They don’t just swallow everything,” Buhari said.

The height of President Buhari’s return was a gift presentation and hug the president received from his wife Aisha

“I am feeling much better now; there may, however, I may need to have further follow-ups within some weeks,” he said.

He further commended the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for his efforts in handling the affairs of the nation while he was away. He said: “Having said that, I am pleased that I am back. I am pleased that the Vice President enjoyed this break and he has to do much more this time around,” Buhari said.

“Youthfulness and intellect are squarely behind him while age and purely military experience are behind me.

“Let us continue to do the work. Nigeria will continue whether we are here or not.”

“I deliberately came back towards the weekend so that the Vice President will continue and I will continue to rest,” Buhari added.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has advised well-meaning Nigerians to rather remain in their stations to say a prayer for him and Nigeria rather than taking the pains to travel to Abuja to welcome him.

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Nigeria on Friday, March 10, after a medical trip to the United Kingdom.

During his time away, the vice president Yemi Osinbajo served as the acting president of Nigeria.

Families of Kidnapped Chibok Girls are hopeful
The families of some 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram nearly three years ago celebrated the return of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari from seven weeks of medical treatment in Britain as a boost to hopes of their daughters being freed.

His return to the country sparked celebrations among families in Chibok, in northeast Nigeria, who had feared that his ill health and absence would harm negotiations with the jihadist group Boko Haram for the release of their daughters.

“Some of the parents cried” following rumors of Buhari’s failing health after he left Nigeria in January, said Yana Galang, the women’s leader of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok.

“They said: ‘If Buhari dies, we cannot get our missing daughters back,’ ” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Chibok, as several parents of the abducted girls gathered to share and celebrate the news of Buhari’s return.

Some returnees

For more than two years there was no sign of the girls, whose kidnapping from their school at night sparked global outrage and a celebrity-backed campaign, referred to with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

But the discovery of one of them with a baby last May fueled hopes for their safety, with two more girls found in later months and a group of 21 released in October in a deal brokered by Switzerland and the International Red Cross.

Buhari has said he is committed to ensuring the Chibok girls are reunited with their families, and the state says Boko Haram militants are willing to negotiate the release of more of the girls.

Buhari “should put in more effort,” said one of the parents, Kollo Adamu. “We still have hope for our missing daughters.”

Talks between Nigeria and Boko Haram over the girls’ release could extend to negotiating peace in the northeast, a mediator involved in the discussions said last week.

The militant group has killed more than 15,000 people and forced 2 million to flee their homes during its seven-year campaign to create an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.