The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday denied rumours of his ill-health, saying they were unfounded and that he was physically and mentally fit.
Mr. Buhari made the comments as he returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where he spent about two weeks.
The former military ruler who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport at about 5.40 a.m., aboard a British Airways flight, was received by a large crowd which included journalists who had laid wait since 4 a.m.
He told the crowd that he merely took some time off to rest, ahead of the March 28 polls.
“I just went off for a couple of weeks to rest. That’s all I did,’’ he said.
When prodded by newsmen on whether he visited any hospital while in the UK, Buhari said: “what is wrong for me to go the hospital?”
“Am I not here now? Aren’t you seeing me? Are you seeing a sick man?
“I went to Chatham House. I read an address and there was a question and answer session, that’s all.”
Mr. Buhari’s trip to the U.K. had been a major subject of controversy as some supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan, his main challenger in the March 28 presidential election, accused him of embarking on a secret medical trip abroad.
The president’s supporters have said Mr. Buhari, 72, is medically unfit to be elected president.
While Mr. Buhari was away in London, some chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, notably Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, insisted that he was on a medical trip, a claim members of Mr. Buhari’s party, APC, repeatedly refuted.
Mr. Buhari had undertaken the London trip after leading the APC presidential campaign train to almost all the 36 states in readiness for the election which had earlier been scheduled for February 14, before being postponed to March 28 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Despite the allegations of poor health, Mr. Buhari, while in London, delivered a lecture at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, explaining why he is seeking to return to power.
He had earlier met with a former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Mr. Buhari’s participation in the March 28 presidential election will be his fourth having contested unsuccessfully for the position in 2003, 2007, and 2011.