A total of 500 Islamic scholars from 14 districts of the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara have prayed for ailing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the country.

This was disclosed by an official of the state who said the scholars recited the Holy Quran 100 times from Sunday night to Monday morning as part of the Nigerian public holiday Democracy Day which falls on May 29.

“If the President, as the leader of Nigeria, is not well, then it becomes the concern of all Nigerians to know that his recovery is highly important to us as a people and as a nation,” local news portal Vanguard quotes Alhaji Lawal Liman, the state’s Commissioner for Rural and Community Development.

“We have organised different prayer sessions throughout the state and we believe as Hafeez (memorizers of the Holy Qur’an) their prayers will be of immense benefit for our state, its leaders and people and the nation, especially the President, who is now on medical treatment in London,” Liman added.

Muhammadu Buhari left the country for London early this month to “seek further medical checkups” two months after he returned from a medical leave.

“The length of the President’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors. Government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the Vice President,” a statement from the presidency said.

Before his departure, Buhari missed three consecutive cabinet meetings deepening fears about his capacity to rule Africa’s most populous country.

Osinbajo, a lawyer who is seen as more business-friendly than Buhari, has played an active role in driving policy changes, chairing cabinet meetings during the president’s medical leave.

Officials have sought to avoid a scenario seen in 2010 when political infighting broke out when then-President Umaru Yar’Adua was sick for months.

Osinbajo was already given full powers to act during Buhari’s previous absence, in contrast to his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan who only took over after Yar’Adua’s death in 2010 ended a power vacuum.