The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, says President Muhammadu Buhari spent less than £50,000 (N20.5m) on the treatment of an ear infection in the United Kingdom.
Shehu said this in a Facebook post on Sunday night while responding to an allegation by Prof. Farooq Kperogi that Buhari spent £6m during his treatment in June.
The President’s spokesman said Buhari’s government believed in accountability and curbing waste.
Shehu said the Presidency had approved over £50,000 for the President’s treatment but Buhari rejected it.
He said, “The disclosure on Prof. Farooq Kperogi’s wall that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ear treatment in the United Kingdom cost a whopping £6m must have shocked many of the respected scholar’s followers.
“I’m prepared to share documents with Farooq, one of the brightest ever produced from the Bayero University Kano that the whole treatment, including a follow-up visit by a specialist to Nigeria didn’t cost £50,000.
“For the records, the administration advanced a higher sum, but the President’s doctor returned the balance to the treasury.
“Indeed, it’s a New Day, and President Buhari’s change mantra is real. Let no one confuse my fellow countrymen and women.”
Shehu made an indirect jibe at Dame Patience Jonathan – wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan – who claimed that the $15m found in some company accounts was for her medical treatment.
He added that President Buhari would have rejected the bill if the doctor had charged him £6m.
He added, “The story reads like an incredible tale by moonlight that belongs to a different era, which fortunately is now history. That’s when a fortunate lady saved $15m for medical treatment!
“But was it possible that the account of this balanced journalism teacher was hacked? I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Given the austere President we have, Muhammadu Buhari would not have approved this amount if he was shown a £6m bill. I won’t be surprised if the President may have asked if the fat bill was for the purchase of a brand new pair of ears!”