The Senate on Tuesday confirmed that it had received the letter from President Muhammadu Buhari extending his vacation in the UK.
Senate spokesperson, Sen. Aliyu Sabi gave the confirmation on Tuesday while briefing members of the Senate Press Corps.
Sabi said that but for the suspension of plenary for budget consideration at committees’ level, the Senate would have read the letter from President Buhari.
Sabi said that the Senate usually reads all correspondences after resumption of plenary but only felt it was necessary to confirm that the letter from Mr President had been received.
“As you are aware the senate suspended plenary to carry out one of the most important duties which is the interaction with the MDAs on the 2017 budget.
“Before we suspended plenary we received a letter from Mr President which was dated 18th, January 2017 where he informed the Distinguished senators that he was proceeding on his vacation for 10 days.
“In the letter he stated very clearly that the vice president will take charge of the running of the country.
“This is a normal thing and of course based on that timing Nigerians were expecting the return of Mr President.
“Now, we are in receipt of the second letter from Mr President where he is informing the senate that he is extending his vacation.
“This arose because in the first letter he did informed us that he will use that to see his doctors.
“In this second letter he is informing the senate that he is extending his vacation because in the cause of that routine medical check up they were still some test his doctors still want to run.
“This is a constitutional provision and let me say it is within his prerogative to do so and we are in receipt of that letter accordingly.
This is why we had to brief you so that we are now confirming that yes we are in receipt of that letter formally and we know that many things have been going on but this is our formal and official pronouncements to Nigeria on this particular subject matter,” he said.
When asked if the date of Buhari’s return was stated in the letter or it was indefinite, Abdullahi stated that the letter did not say indefinite “because indefinite is taking the matter out of context.”
He added, “But, then, he said he’s extending (his vacation); that is, beyond the 10 days he had asked for and because the tests that are going to be run are not in his hands (to be determined by him) – it is in the hands of the doctors – he is not giving us a date. But, definitely, he’s extending (his vacation) and I think that is what is important.”
Recall that the Presidency on Sunday released a statement that the vacation of the President had been extended and a letter sent to the National Assembly to that effect.
However, some people doubted the authenticity of the letter which prompted the Senate to confirm the receipt of the letter.