East Africa

Africa highlights: Kenyan protest broken up with tear gas, Ugandan MP admits urinating in public

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AFP
Mr Buhari has spent much of this year in London

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has no obligation to reveal his medical condition, despite spending most of this year being treated abroad, Information Minister Lai Mohammed has told AFP news agency.

Nigerians have been questioning what has been wrong with Mr Buhari and who has been paying for his extensive treatment in London.

Civil society groups have demanded to know if taxpayers’ money is being used.

It’s not strange at all for a sitting president to be ill and it’s not strange either for the state to take care of his medical bill.”

Lai Mohammed

“I think there’s so much speculation as to what he’s been treated for. I think we would rather respect his privacy,” said Mr Mohammed. “If Mr President feels like telling the world his ailment, so be it. I don’t think he’s under an obligation to tell anyone.”

Mr Buhari, 74, has said little about his ailments, other than that he has had blood transfusions and never felt as sick in his life.

Asked if Mr Buhari would stand for president again in 2019, Mr Mohammed said: “If he’s going to run that’s left to him but right now, his major preoccupation is delivering on all his electoral promises.”

In other remarks, Mr Mohammed denied that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group, Nnamdi Kanu, was being held by the government.

“He’s not being held by government at all,” he said, adding that he was probably “in hiding”.

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