NIGERIA’S ailing President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been away in London for almost three months, has become the subject of a sports betting game in his homeland.
A popular sports gaming site, NaijaBet.com, is asking those interested to stake their money on when Buhari, who left Nigeria on May 7 on his latest medical trip to the British capital, will return. The company usually focuses on English Premiership, Champions League and other sporting events, but recently launched the ‘Buhari to Return’ game. Punters can bet on whether the president will return in the second or fourth week of August.
The 74-year-old Buhari first sought treatment in London in June 2016 for what presidency officials said was a persistent inner ear infection, returning in six months for check-ups that were later said to be ‘a long period of treatment’.
Buhari’s protracted absence has sparked intense public debate in Nigeria. Last month, members of the governing party and the opposition went to see him in London and even took pictures with him to douse public anxiety.
Buhari was dogged by speculation about his health even before his election win in 2015. During that campaign, the then-governing party claimed he had prostate cancer and would die in office. He rejected the claims as unfounded.