The Peoples Democratic Party said on Friday that the return of President Muhammadu Buhari marked a significant moment in the current political dispensation in the country.
Mr. Buhari returned from the United Kingdom Friday morning after spending 50 days on medical vacation.
Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the interim national leadership of the PDP, said in a statement Friday night that the party was grateful to God for keeping the president alive, but urged him to show more transparency about his health crisis.
“We pray for the president’s complete recovery and advise the Presidency to be more transparent in managing the Health of President Muhmmadu Buhari. Nigerians deserves to know the health status of their President and how it’s being managed.
Walid Jibrin, the Chairman of Board of Trustees of the PDP, told EXCLUSIVES in a text message Friday evening that the opposition party heartily welcomed the president’s arrival.
“The most important thing is that Buhari has returned safely,” Mr. Jibrin, a former senator, said. “PDP shall continue to pray for him and may Almighty Allah gives him more strength.”
Mr, Jibrin belongs to the Makarfi-led faction of the PDP.
The ruling All Progressives Congress said it heartily welcomed the president back into the country.
In a statement issued by its national spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, the the party said it believed Mr. Buhari was “now well rested” and “returned with new vigour and optimism to fix the challenges facing our people and fulfil the promises our party made to Nigerians during the 2015 elections.”The party also expressed appreciation to the president for relinquishing power to his deputy ahead of his trip abroad. “We thank the president for following due process and properly handing over to his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and thereby saving the country the needless controversies and crises that we experienced in the past.” Mr. Abdullahi also commended Mr. Osinbajo for “competently holding the fort on behalf of Mr. President and for his loyalty and commitment to the change agenda of our party.”
A former vice president and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar, expressed joy and relief at the return of Mr. Buhari from the United Kingdom
In a statement released by his media office on Friday, Mr. Abubakar said Mr. Buhari’s safe return was “a happy moment not only as a fellow party member but also as a Nigerian that has tremendous goodwill and best wishes for the president.”
He said the return will immediately “put an end to the uncertainty and the conspiracy theories that attended his 50 days absence.”
He called on Nigerians to unite behind their common interests and speak with one voice instead of nursing bitterness against one another because of political differences.
Similarly, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State saw the president’s return as source of renewed strength for the country.
In a statement distributed by his media aide, Imam Imam, Mr. Tambuwal said he was particularly grateful to Nigerians for rising in unison to pray for the ailing leader.
“Nigerians from all walks of life prayed for their president, now that God has answered their prayers, culminating in the safereturn of the President, we should continue to pray for him and his family,” Mr. Tambuwal said.
“The president has shown uncommon commitment to solvingthe myriad of problems bedevilling the nation. We have absolute confidence in his ability to take us higher as a nation.”<
In its reaction, foremost Nigerian students’ body, NANS, said they were elated to learn of Mr. Buhari’s arrival after several weeks abroad.
About three hundred of them held a demonstration outside the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday afternoon.
Chinonso Obasi, the union’s president, said the fact that Mr. Buhari returned “safe and sound back to our fatherland 51 days after he went overseas on medical vacation” was a manifestation of the country’s national motto: ‘Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.’
The students had called for a three-day national prayer for the president earlier this week.
“When we joined other patriotic citizens to pray for the quick recovery and early return of Mr. President, some people wondered why NANS should be declaring three days of prayer for the recuperation and rejuvenation of the President.
“One thing you cannot take away from Nigeria, our country, is that God is interested in our unity and progress. That is why whenever Nigerians come together to demand anything from God, He graciously grants it,” the students said.
They implored the president to tackle, head on, all the lingering political and economic crisis in the country.
“He should tackle with renewed vigour the cankerworm of corruption and all forms of insecurity that are threatening the nation’s future.”