President Buhari to isolate after UK trip

COVID-19: Buhari, others go on isolation after UK trip

President Muhammadu Buhari will go on isolation in line with COVID-19 protocols after spending about two weeks in London, United Kingdom, the presidency has said.

Also billed to go on isolation are officials of the government who accompanied the president on the trip.

They include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

Mr Buhari and members of the delegation, who travelled to London on July 26, returned to Nigeria on Friday after about two weeks.

They were received at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, security chiefs as well as some presidential aides.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the officials would go on isolation in line with the guideline for international travels.

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“Mr President and all of those on his delegation will be isolated in line with NCDC guidelines for international travel. They all tested yesterday (Friday) and will follow up with another test in due course,” Mr Shehu told the Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

While in London, Mr Buhari joined other world leaders to attend the Global Education Summit.

The summit, co-hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, successfully generated about four billion dollars out of the targeted five billion dollars for the transformation of the education sector in low income countries, including Nigeria.

Mr Buhari appeared on a panel of discussants with a live audience alongside his counterparts from other African countries, including Mr Kenyatta, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Faure Eyadema of Togo and President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi.

The summit focused on topical issues including Education’s Reset – Learning from COVID; Transforming the Child’s Learning Journey; Gender Equality in and Through Education; Ripple Effect – Education’s Impact on Sustainability, and Financing for Impact – Volume, Equity, Efficiency.

At the summit, Mr Buhari pledged to increase the budget for the education sector in Nigeria by as much as 50 per cent over the next two years.

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Messrs Buhari and Johnson, also held bilateral talks, during which the two leaders appraised the war against different forms of terrorism in Nigeria, and agreed that the judicial process be allowed to run its course.

The Nigerian leader also used the opportunity of the trip to undergo a medical check-up.

Mr Buhari and members of his family routinely travel to the UK for medical treatment.

While he was away, members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) began a strike over repeated failure of his administration to implement agreements signed with them.

Before departing London, Mr Buhari visited former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, who is believed to be on a medical trip to London.

Meanwhile, some persons whom the president interacted with in London have tested positive for COVID-19.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Sarafa Isola, and other staff of the embassy had received the president upon his arrival at the airport in London.

The High Commission in Central London was shut down on Thursday for 10 days.

On March 6, Mr Buhari together with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, received the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, died of the pandemic in April 2020.

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