President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja Sunday after spending 10 days on a private visit to the United Kingdom.
The president landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 6.33 p.m.
A statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, 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.”
Mr Adesisna also said in their “vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care”.
He said 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?
“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,” he said.
The presidency did not provide details of Mr Buhari’s ‘private visit,’ leading to speculations he travelled to see his doctors as he has done in the past.
Mr Buhari did not also transfer power to his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, while he was away’ an action that drew more controversy.
Those at the airport to welcome the president include his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, some ministers, including the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Others were the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and other presidential aides.