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Africa Press review

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African press review 8 May 2018


President Buhari sparked fresh debate about his health as he flies to London again for a mediacl check-up.

We begin in Nigeria where tongues are wagging again about President Muhammadu Buhari's health, following a statement from his office that he is leaving Abuja this Tuesday for a four day medical check-up in London.

Vanguard quotes the President's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba as stating in the press release that "in the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, Buhari had a meeting with his doctor, who requested him to return for a meeting which he agreed to do. He reportedly stated that President Buhari will return to Nigeria on Saturday, May 12.

Meanwhile, Punch recalls for the record that President Buhari who is battling with what he called “persistent ear infection spent a 49-day medical sojourn in London in 2017 raising questions of constitutionality about his prolonged absence from the country.

According to the newspaper, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party wasted no time to react to the news, by urging President Buhari to stop deceiving Nigerians about his health and other national issues.

Punch reports that the party's National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with one of our correspondents, attacked Buhari of lying to Nigerians about the stopover he made in London a few days ago, which he stated was not a technical stopover .

The newspaper also underlines the PDP official's interest in ensuring that due process was respected. According to Punch Kola Ologbondiyan expressed hope that President Buhari had transmitted a letter to the National Assembly about this trip warning that if he didn’t, that is going against the Constitution.”

This Day reports that this four-day medical trip to London again by the 75 year old Buhari who has announced his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election is bound to set tongues wagging and raises questions over his ability to run the country.

In Kenya, the Standard leads with news that lawmakers had handed themselves a 700 percent increase in their pension checks. According to the paper that represents a whooping Sh1.7 billion approximately 14.2 million euros to be raised between July 1, 2018 and June 2019. 

The Standard says the figure is expected to hit Sh2.7 billion or 22.5 million euros by July 2020, expanding the country’s wage bill to new highs at a time of billions in unfunded pension liabilities owed to the country's public servants.

On top of that the Standard reports that Kenyan taxpayers will pay more than 125 million euros in additional pensions during the next financial year as the burden of supporting the country’s retired public servants continues to rise