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Anxiety As Buhari Absent At Pre-Inauguration Prayers, Jets Out To The UK

by Musa Abdullahi

The absence of Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari at the special Juma’at prayers to mark the beginning of the week long activities leading to his inauguration on May 29 led to anxiety by observers present.

The President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, 22 May left for Britain on a private visit, his first such trip outside the country since winning the March 28th presidential election.

In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the President-elect’s Media Team, Mallam Garba Shehu said: “Buhari left for Britain on a private visit. He will use the opportunity of the visit to take a much-deserved rest ahead of his inauguration on May 29th.

‘’He is expected back in the country a few days before the inauguration, refreshed and ready to hit the ground running once he is sworn into office,’’ he said.

At the monsque, when it became obvious that the president-elect was not available, the former Vice President and chieftains of All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar stepped into the mosque saying he was Buhari’s representative at the special service.

Speaking, he said “I am here with some of the governors that accompanied me to represent the president-elect who is unavoidable absent. The prayers have gone on very well. We are grateful for all the support and cooperation of all Nigerians. We have prayed to have a successful transfer of power on the inauguration day which is on May 29 insha Allah.”

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