First photo of Nigeria's ill President Buhari in 80 days

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is seen having lunch with senior members of the country's ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja house, London.

Story highlights

  • It's the second time President Buhari has taken medical leave in 2017.
  • President Buhari has been battling an undisclosed illness.

(CNN)New pictures have emerged of Nigeria's ailing President Muhammadu Buhari for the first time since he left the country on medical leave 80 days ago.

President Buhari has been battling an undisclosed illness since the start of the year and has spent long periods out of the country receiving treatment in the UK.
    On Sunday, his aides released a photo of the President having lunch with senior member of his ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in London.
    "The President sends his best wishes to all Nigerians. He will be back to Nigeria as soon as his doctors give the go-ahead," his office tweeted along with the picture of him at the lunch table.
    There has been intense speculation in the country about the president's health with many false reports that he had died emerging online.
    By releasing the pictures, his inner circle hope to reassure Nigerians that the president is on the mend and very much alive.
    "By our visit to London... the merchants of lies have been put out of business and Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling. All those who look up to fake news can find better use for their time," said Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha who was part of the delegation.
    President Buhari has not made any public appearances during this period or addressed the country directly apart from a short voice message recorded in the Hausa language to wish Muslims a happy Ramadan.
    This is the second time President Buhari has taken medical leave in 2017.
    On January 19 this year he left for the UK on a 10-day medical leave, which was extended until March but did not resume work immediately. He then left again on May 7 and has been away since.
    Nigeria's vice president Yemi Osinbajo has been the acting president since Buhari left the country.