Minister of information, Lai Mohammed has played down President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence from Wednesday’s federal executive council meeting.
Mohammed denied reports that the president has fallen ill and said Buhari’s absence was because the agenda was light.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the cabinet meeting — the first time he would chair FEC when the president is in town.
Mohammed told the media that “clearly when we came in this morning, Mr President was not in the chambers but the vice-president did preside over the council meeting. Understandably, that has sparked a lot of controversies and imputations in the mind of people.
“I just want to make this clear, Mr President is in town. Mr President is attending to other issues. Mr President looked at the agenda, it was a very light agenda and decided that the vice-president should preside. ”
“It’s not unusual for the kind of interest that is shown especially given the fact that Mr. President was away for a while on medical treatment and is not. We are not surprised that people will be wondering is he ill again?
“He is not ill, he is not sick. Am sure that later in the day or tomorrow morning he will be back in the office. I just want to clear that misconception.
“Is not unusual even if Mr. President is hail and hearty and everything is going on well, for the VP to come and preside over meetings of the federal executive council.
“The fact that Mr. President is not in the office does not mean that he is not working. I have just been told now that the secretary to the government of the federation is already with with him in the residence working. So, the fact that you did not see him in the office does not mean that he is not working at all.”
Buhari attended last week’s FEC where he launched the economic and recovery growth plan.