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Buhari didn’t know where he was when he fell seriously ill, says Femi Adesina

Buhari didn’t know where he was when he fell seriously ill, says Femi Adesina
January 21
17:52 2024

Femi Adesina, ex-media aide to former President Muhammadu Buhari, says his principal told him that he did not know where he was at a point when he fell seriously ill.

Adesina in his book titled “Working with Buhari: Reflections Of A Special Adviser, Media And Publicity (2015 – 2023)”, said the former president narrated the incident when he visited him in London in 2017.

He said prior to the visit, he was under pressure to declare that Buhari was incapacitated and unfit for office.

The former presidential spokesperson said the visit was organised by Aisha Buhari, the former first lady.


“I was under a lot of barrage, particularly from the media, which expected me to declare the President either incapacitated, or dead. Waoh!” Adesina said in his book.

“There was this significant development, which saw us visiting the President in London, August 12, 2017. The team included the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, myself, Garba Shehu, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Nigeria Diaspora Commission, and Lauretta Onochie, personal aide to the President on Social Media.

“The brain behind the visit was the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari. We spoke sparingly; but that day when the trip was being planned, my phone rang, and it was her. After exchange of pleasantries, she said: ‘My husband is not terminally ill. He is just stressed and overworked. I have been warning on it since last year.


“All he needs is rest. I spent 9 days with him, before returning to attend to some women projects. The children are with him. I think you should visit him too. You can’t be speaking for him without seeing him.’ And that was how the visit was arranged, at the behest of the First Lady.

“Let me add that myself and Garba Shehu had made requests to visit earlier, through the office of the Chief of Staff.

“But it was understandable that it was not possible, particularly when the President was at a time struggling for life. It was during that London meeting that he told me: ‘At a point, I did not even know where I was’.

“Serious. Very serious. Those criticising that the media aides were shut out, was it at such a time we were needed? To do what? To use our pens to conduct diagnosis and write prescriptions? Easy, easy does it.”



Adesina said on August 19, 2021, Buhari returned to the country from a foreign trip.

He said after Buhari’s return, some people began to share unfounded stories that it was not the real president that returned to the country, but a clone named Jubril, from Sudan.

“The then Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin, was giving out his daughter in marriage, and I had been invited. For such outings, you needed the full Yoruba Agbada, with cap to match. That was what I wore. From church and reception, I went straight to the Airport, as the President was billed to land about 4:00 pm. And when he did, we formed the usual reception line,” Adesina said.


“He shook hands with everyone, saying one wisecracks or the other (he is full of such), and when he got to me, he said: ‘Adesina, this is the best I have seen you dressed.’ We laughed. Yes, I do not often wear Agbada, and it was probably the first time the President was seeing me in it.

“When later, some people began to spread unfounded stories that the man that returned to the country on that August 19 was not the real Buhari, but a clone, named Jubril of Sudan, I just found it preposterous, even otiose. My response was usually that if the person was a certain Jubril, how did he know my name, and commenting on my dressing? Pathetic people. Pitiable.”


He further said the reception Buhari received from Nigerians on his return was overwhelming, adding that he concluded that if his principal was to run for office again, he would surely win.

“The ride from Murtala Muhammed Airport to the Presidential Villa on that day was what showed me that the President would win an election, if he ran again,” Adesina added.


“Many times, the crowd was so uncontrollable that they seized the road and forced the convoy to a crawl. They were simply overjoyed to have their President back, a man they loved so much.”


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