Nigeria says President Muhammadu Buhari is taking leave for more than two weeks in Britain for medical checkups.

A statement Thursday from Buhari's special adviser Femi Adesina calls the medical checks "routine" and says the leave is part of Buhari's annual vacation.

Buhari, who is in his 70s, was leaving Thursday and is expected to return on Feb. 6.

Like many Africans, Nigerians have pointed out the irony of leaders going overseas for medical issues while ordinary citizens struggle to get adequate care from local health systems.