Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made a “technical stopover” in London after meeting US President Donald Trump in Washington, his spokesperson said on Thursday.
The 75-year-old former army general spent months in the British capital last year for treatment to an unspecified illness, raising questions about his fitness to govern.
His government was criticised for failing to update the public on his condition and repeatedly insisted the president was “hale and hearty”.
But presidency spokesperson Garba Shehu indicated health matters were not the reason for breaking the journey back from the United States.
“The big jet is under repair. So, the president is using a small plane and there is a limit to the distance the small plane can cover,” he told AFP.
“The technical stopover I talked about is that the journey from US to Abuja is broken into two.”
Buhari met Trump in the White House on Monday and left Washington on Tuesday. The London pitstop was not formerly announced.
Another presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said on Twitter Thursday that Buhari is expected back in Nigeria this evening.
Buhari said on his return to Nigeria from London last year that he “had never been so sick” and had undergone blood transfusions.
In seeking re-election in 2018, Buhari is defying calls from political heavyweights to step aside for a younger, more dynamic candidate.