August 18, 2018 / 5:07 PM / a month ago

Nigeria's President Buhari to return from leave, allaying health fears

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will return from leave on Saturday, a presidential aide said, easing concerns over the leader’s health in the run-up to elections in early 2019.

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari attends a reception at the closing session of the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Guildhall in London, Britain on April 18, 2017. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

“President @MBuhari will return today after his 10 working days vacation,” Bashir Ahmad wrote on Twitter.

Buhari, flying home from London, is campaigning to win a second term in February elections. Although the main opposition party is yet to pick a candidate, the president’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been beset by a series of high-profile defections.

The most notable was the loss last month of Senate President Bukola Saraki, who quit a week after a wave of lawmakers left the APC, losing the party its majority in the Senate.

After Buhari spent five months in Britain last year being treated for an undisclosed ailment, opposition critics said he was unfit for office and his administration was beset by inertia.

Since then, leaves of absence have sparked chatter about the president’s health, though Buhari’s gaunt appearance through much of 2017 has visibly improved.

Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Ros Russell

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