Nigeria, Africa (Mckoy’s News) – Nigerian President Spoke for the First Time in Seven Weeks: The health of the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has been the source of constant speculation in the West African country since the start of 2017.
The 74-year-old ex-military general, who came to power in 2015, has been on medical leave for more than 14 weeks this year. Buhari is currently in the U.K. receiving treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. He left on May 7 and Nigerians have not heard from him since.
But that changed on Saturday when the Nigerian president released an audio recording for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr—the Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan—on Saturday. The 1-minute clip featured Buhari speaking in Hausa—a language common in northern Nigeria, where the population is mostly Muslim, but not so in the largely-Christian south—and was transcribed into English by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu.
“My greetings to all Nigerian Muslims and our brother Christians on the occasion of Eid el-Fitr. May the lessons of Ramadan, namely piety; self-denial, prayers, and generosity to the poor and needy be with us for all time,” said Buhari.
Buhari also seemed to nod towards ethnic tensions that have bubbled recently in Nigeria. A coalition of activist groups, calling itself the Northern Youth Groups, recently issued a statement ordering all members of the Igbo ethnic group to leave northern Nigeria for their ancestral homelands in the east. The statement has been condemned by Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who has been in charge in Buhari’s absence.