President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after a 10-day private visit to the UK. He landed at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 6.24pm on Sunday.
In a press statement titled ‘Can they now swallow their words?’ to announce the president’s arrival, Femi Adesina, his spokesman, said some “reckless” online media, “irresponsible” political opposition, and other “bilious” groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the president left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalization, “and would not return after 10 days as stated”.
He said: “In their vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care.
“Now that the President has returned, can these apostles of evil imaginings swallow their words? Can they retract their tendentious stories as well as press statements, and apologize to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that they have fed with hogwash?
“(a) few days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, we daresay that this valuable freedom does not tantamount to liberty to mislead and hoodwink the populace through concocted and jejune publications.
“The Buhari administration will always respect and uphold press freedom, but the onus lies on those prone to passing off fiction as facts, to remember that freedom demands concomitant responsibility. Those who further share and disseminate falsehood are also encouraged to embrace responsible conduct.”
Buhari was believed to have taken a vacation after his re-election campaign, although the classification of his trip as “private” by his media team led to suggestions that he took a medical leave.