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Buhari family still evades The Guardian’s reporter in London

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A photograph of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha.

• Daughter smuggled in through back door • Guests keep mum on president’s health
• Met police briefed on Nigerian situation • Balarabe Musa wants illness probed

Members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s household continued to evade The Guardian’s reporter in London yesterday.They were forced to enter the Abuja House in London through the back door so as not to be seen by the reporter when a Mercedes Jeep bringing them back to the premises arrived around 4:09 p.m.

On sighting the reporter outside the official residence of the Nigerian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, the driver drove very close to the main door and by the time they noticed the reporter had run to the second gate, they didn’t use the front entrance that had been opened by one of the members of staff inside.

Rather, the vehicle reversed very close to the side door and dropped off the occupants. One of the girls sighted on Sunday looked back carefully, and her eyes and those of the reporter met, before she went in through the side door.

Security staff at the Abuja House hung the phone on The Guardian when the reporter arrived at 3:50 p.m. yesterday.When the entry phone was pressed and a security official picked it, the reporter requested to speak to “any member of the house or official of the High Commission.” The security man replied: “You have to go to the High Commission.” When told that “I don’t want the High Commission, I want to speak to any member of the staff working here,” he insisted, “You have to go to the High Commission, there’s no one to speak to,” before
angrily hanging up.

On Sunday, two guests leaving the residence around 4:54 p.m. were greeted “evening, sirs” before being asked twice, “Did you see Mr. president?” None of the two replied, but gave this reporter a look, before walking to the end of the street.

The two London Metropolitan Police constables -Marlett and Sock – who were called to arrest The Guardian reporter in front of the Abuja House, on Sunday afternoon were given a crash course on why Nigerians want to know the true situation of President Buhari’s extended medical leave.

“This is the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, so it is Nigerian property,” the reporter told the policemen, as they started interrogating him about why he had come to spend the Sunday afternoon at the Kensington address.

The Guardian explained: “Our president has been on vacation since last month and should have resumed since February 6, but we are being told by his people that he is resting here and awaiting the results of some medical tests. So, Nigerians just want to know if he is here and for him to speak to them.”

One guest who was departing could not be smuggled through the side door as he was on a wheelchair. The presence of The Guardian in front of the house seemed to have created a dilemma for people in the Abuja House, as it took them about 10 minutes between when a silver Mercedes Benz cab was parked in front of the house and when the wheelchair-bound guest was brought out and carried inside the cab. About three people accompanied him out and everyone was smiling until the reporter tried waving the Benz to stop on its way out.

The action drew the fury of one of the insiders, a grey-haired man. He approached the reporter, pointing his finger and warning him not to stop the cab nor talk to the people inside as it drove out around 4:30 p.m.

About five minutes later, another blue Mercedes Benz arrived with a female occupant. Not only did she too used the side entrance, the driver was instructed to park so close to its door, when it was time to offload the contents of the boot.

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the reported harassment of The Guardian reporter by officials of the Abuja House at the weekend.

The group also asked the National Assembly to sanction officials of the country’s embassy in Ontario, Canada who were accused of corruption and extorting Nigerians to renew their passports.

In a statement by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf in Abuja yesterday, HURIWA described the invitation of the Metropolitan Police of London to arrest the journalist as outrageous, more so when the reporter was legitimately attempting to provide Nigerian readers with accurate information on the wellbeing of President Buhari.

HURIWA faulted the claim by the embassy officials that the Nigerian house was a private residence, saying the place was acquired with taxpayers’ money, so it is a public asset belonging to the people of Nigeria.

On the allegation of corruption at the Nigerian embassy in Canada, the rights group urged Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to intervene and ensure transparency in their operations.

Also, the Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa has urged the National Assembly to commence an investigation into the state of health of Buhari and his eligibility to continue as the country’s head of state.

In an interview with The Guardian, Musa blamed the executive for the poor management of information on the president’s treatment abroad.

“That is why we want the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to commence an investigation and unveil the truth about the health of the president. If he is found not capable of continuing in office as head of state, he should resign,” he said.


In this article:
Muhammadu Buhari‎

15 Comments
  • Darlington

    This is called investigative journalism. Kudos to The Guardian. Other media houses should send their reporters to besiege Abuja House in London, where the cabal told us that Buhari is staying. The truth cannot be hiding forever.

  • osahon airiohuodion

    when will we learn as a nation,once again our leaders taking us for a ride. they say he is as “fit as a fiddle” he is “hale and harty” yet he has been away for 33days and even when a journalist tries to inform us, he is treated like trash. presidency and apologist of this crap note this, nothing is hidden under the sun.

  • Abidilagungun

    Great job, The Guardian and kudos to the Editor

  • Arit Bassey

    HOME VIDEO!!!!! ‘ #IN SEARCH OF MY PRESIDENT’ SEASON ONE (1)……….

  • Aristotle

    What a shame!

    Nigerians have been reduced to the level of employing Jack Bauer tactics just to see a president they supposedly “voted in”. In this era of technology where one could talk to anybody anywhere live on video via the net, a “Hale and Hearty” president remains incommunicado. This is the height of impunity. Had it been in Nigeria, this reporter would be handled worse than the Onitsha cripple dehumanized by soldiers.

    The painful part is, I genuinely believed this president would be different in a positive manner. Nobody is praying for your death, but the way this charade is going gives the impression you are closer to the grave than alive. If you or your cabinet find such statements annoying, then do the right thing; come out and address the people who stood in the sun to ensure you got the mandate. Unless you mean to tell us we had no input on your election but rather you were “Jegarified” into Aso Rock!

    • Dozie St Charles

      U re definitely on point. But have it in ur mind that something we don’t know is going on and no distant time the cover will be let loose

  • Xanthos1

    time will tell….continue

  • Mike Oziegbe

    We now understand that the president of this country is only for A P C, the family and other foolish blindfolded followers. 2019 is around the corner, We shall see the perpetual incorrigible in our country that will vote for them. There is nothing called CHANGE the CHANGE

  • Taiwo Umolu

    The President was elected in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. If he has flouted any article of the constitution, please seek redress in court. He has a right not to disclose his sickness like any patient all over the world. Stalking visitors to Abuja house is not investigative journalism in my view. It is harassment.

    • Giadem

      Listen to yourself sounding stupid and decieving yourself just to defend a lie.

    • Correctness

      People are wiser / more knowledgeable now than you think. So keep your lies or rather your ignorance to yourself.

  • muazu wali

    I am disappointed.that Balarabe Musa has joined the skeptics poking their noses in a.personal matter as as.health. Is it not enough that the President is not dead! When they know what mind of ilness he is sufferening from would they handle him better than those looking after him now? Why should the President become a comdity for irresponsible media to sell?

    • papred06

      He’s already a commodity. He’s the president for God’s sake.

      • muazu wali

        He cannot be both. He is a President which is his title and job.

  • princejoe2320

    Thanks very much Gaurdian. One thing is sure, Buhari is hiding in a wrong place because white man doesn’t know how to keep secret..Between now and end of march 2017, truth about Buhari health will be exposed and Nigeria will know whether presidency had been telling the entire truth . Buhari is in environment where he cannot stop another vehicle not drive behind him after leaving the house, the police man that were called to arrest the guardian reporters would have gone back to their office and started gossiping even in a low tone.. when Buhari leaves where he is kept in Abuja House in London to keep his routine appointment will he see nurses, Doctors, consultants, etc whether white or black.Will Buhari data be fed into NHS system? Are there human being that will update his medical reports and prescription? Oh Nigerian is bunch of deceiver