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London police called to arrest The Guardian’s reporter over Buhari

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Former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, President Muhammadu Buhari and former national chairman of APC Chief Bisi Akande at Abuja House, London PHOTO: TWITTER/PRESIDENCY

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Security staff at the Abuja House in London yesterday called in policemen to arrest a correspondent of The Guardian who was on the premises to see President Muhammadu Buhari and possibly interview him.

When the correspondent told a member of staff at the Abuja House, the official residence of the Nigerian High commissioner to the United Kingdom, yesterday afternoon that he had come to see the president, he replied: “As far as I’m concerned, he’s not here.”

At 2:50 p.m., when a black Mercedes jeep arrived, the occupant sitting by the driver rolled down the glass and asked the The Guardian correspondent, “why are you here?” “When I told him that l was a reporter with The Guardian and l had come to see if the president was there and to interview him, he looked quite irritated and replied angrily: ‘he’s not here, you can’t see anybody here.’ “

In an extraordinary move, two police officers, Constables Marlett and Stock, were called in by the security staff at the Abuja House to arrest the reporter. When both arrived on their motorcycles, they took the reporter’s name and date of birth and subsequently made a check on the national database, before staying around for about 20 minutes and then left.

Prior to that, the security staff threatened the reporter with the police when he called at the Kensington residence to interview President Buhari about his continued stay in the UK.

A few minutes after The Guardian arrived at the Abuja House, just after 1:00 p.m., wanting to speak to the high commissioner, the reporter was directed to go to the Embassy- Nigerian House at Northumberland Avenue. “Somebody should be there,” he was told.

Around 1:20 p.m., when a man and a teenage-looking girl wearing glasses pressed the buzzer, a security officer appeared to open the gate for the duo. When asked:”Is that the daughter of the president?” – judging by her resemblance of the First Lady- the security officer replied: “I don’t know.” He then reiterated that the reporter should go to the office at Northumberland Avenue.

When The Guardian pressed the buzzer about five minutes later, the security man sounded angry and threatened to call the police even when the reporter disclosed his identity and said he had come to speak to the president or any member of staff of the residence. “You should realise this is a private place and I will call the police,” he said. When he was immediately corrected and told that the reporter was standing outside in a public place, he then said:” l won’t speak to you again.”

But around 1:40 p.m., when two guests arrived, the reporter shook hand with one of them and asked, “have you come to see Mr. President?” He replied cheerfully, saying “yes”, but he didn’t enter the compound. He left about 15 minutes later.

Another security officer came out shortly after and told the reporter to move away from the main gate. “Excuse me, you can’t just stand here,” he said.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was also at Abuja House, a strong indication that Buhari may actually be there. At 5:13p.m., Saraki emerged from the house in a black suit, accompanied by a male aide.

“Hello, Senate president, hello Senate president,” The Guardian said to him from outside the gate, before he entered an official car and was driven away.

Meanwhile, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has accused the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of politicising the health status of President Buhari by their visitation to London which he described as “make-belief and too much of eye-service.”

Fayose said he had “temporarily suspended” his criticism of the president because of his health challenges. The governor spoke on a live programme tagged, ‘Meet Your Governor’ aired on the state-owned Ekiti Television and Radio Stations on Saturday.

Fayose who prayed for sound health for the president said his desire for a better Nigeria accounted for why he had been criticising the Federal Government when things were not done the right way.

“I don’t have any problem with the president; the only problem I have is with his handlers. They will say something today and say another ‪tomorrow. Anybody can fall sick,” he said.‬

Besides, the Anglican Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West, Rt. Revd. James Olusola Odedeji yesterday cautioned Nigerians against wishing the president dead but rather pray for his health and wellbeing so that he could succeed in delivering his electoral promises to the nation.

Odedeji spoke at the induction and installation of Venerable Adegoke Oludare Agara as the Dean of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral held at the church in Ikeja, Lagos.

He said: “It is unfortunate in this country that Nigerians do hate their leaders. The rate at which people are willing to wish the president of the country dead is alarming. What are we going to gain if he dies?’’



65 Comments
  • Ezekiel Okeke

    That is the disgrace Yoruba reduced itself in the history. In Ya’ adua case, Igbos came out and Jonathan was sworn in as president, it is now Yoruba turn to prove what they can, if they can. If eastern region was still part of the ruined entity called Nigeria, they would have come out and Osinbajo would have already be in office as president. It is now Republic Of Biafra, west is with the north or on their own.

    • Temitope

      What have you been smoking? The Save Nigeria Group that protested during GEJ’s era was led by Prof. Wole Soyinka and Yinka Odumakin. Igbos never came nowhere! Also, the situations are different. Yar adua was rushed out of the country in an air ambulance while PMB is alive and even receiving visitors. Stop being silly and an ethnic bigot!

      • BroVic

        Don’t mind him. Talking trash!

      • yinka

        Ignore his trash

    • bayo bejide

      Even when the Mr President was not pronounce dead, you an ethnic bigot of Biafraud

    • Izonebi

      Please can you just stop. You guys never get tired of spewing out garbage and ignorance.

    • Gideonson

      You are a mumu. Receive sense!

      • Cyokere

        Amen.

    • ezedan

      Why do fools, ignorant boy like you with lies always tried to create false news and false scenarios about the past. You must be in Kuje prison when the most Nigerians without tribal sentiment fought for Jonathan to be made President when Yar’Adua was very sick and also become a full President after the death of Yar’Adua. And please stop the false reports by painting all this with tribal sentiment and grow up.

      • BroVic

        Don’t mind him.

    • Bo Biz

      Bia nwaokem,mechie onu gi ,imaghi ihe ina ako. You’re insulting Tunde Bakare,Wole Soyinka,Odumakin and other heroes of the struggle.

      • Ezekiel Okeke

        I dont mind the insulting words out of ignorance so as to establish the fact. Who protest is like a beggar, protest played no key role in Ya’adua / Jonathan case, and even the confidence of the said protesters was eastern region that was behind Jonathan, if not, where are the same said protesters today? The key factor then was death announcement made by Akuyili, an Igbo woman. Today, Yoruba know the truth about Buhari but dont have the confidence to say it, looking for eastern region backing but will never get it- Yoruba is with the north or on their own. Such Yoruba cheap statement that Igbo and Yoruba have put the past behind them is complete fallacy, this is 21st century Igbos in 21st century eastern region of Republic Of Biafra, in 21 century world. We have nothing against Yoruba or west but will never again be in any form of association with them because they do not have principles, indecisive, betrays etc. We will never be their victim again.

        • Tolu Osibowale

          Ezekiel you dey smoke weed truly. Am very sure you are from a devided family too. I can’t just imagine your sense of reasoning. Bikko, go delete ur account for u r jst a waste of space here.

        • Caleb Arogundade

          I think the likes of Ezekiel Okeke are better ignored because from his incoherent submissions, one can justifiably conclude that he knows little or nothing about what he professes to know. By the way, if you’re now Biafran, what concerns you about Nigeria’s affairs?

          • Ezekiel Okeke

            Arogundade asked a good question, I’d said he should ask Yoruba that question: eastern region is now Republic Of Biafra, why is Yoruba still coming to us, disturbing us about the the ruined entity called Nigeria? Obasanjo with his nonsense called 2019 presidency, Osinbajo touring our villages, Afenifere with fallacy that Igbo and Yoruba have put the past behind them etc. Republic Of Biafra message is: stop disturbing us, live with yours 50 years mess called rule in yours ruined entity called Nigeria. We have yours 50 years mess to clean in eastern region of Republic Of Biafra. Yours people in uniform and those working for the bandits called itself federal government have to leave Biafraland Now, our natives in that category outside Republic Of Biafra will come home. If they hesitate to leave Biafraland Now, then will meet in BIAFRAN REVOLUTION WAR in which they will be defeated and crushed like their former leader Buhari.

          • Babagordy

            I pray God almighty grants you your wishes to establish a land locked country then you will realize igbos needs everybody

          • Ezekiel Okeke

            God has given us Republic Of Biafra. If Igbos are what they are today in the said landlocked territory despite your wars to suppress them, to frustrate them etc. How much more when they are under their native entity Republic Of Biafra they have full control of.

    • Foluso

      Haba! When the President is still alive. Let’s leave sentiment and follow ‘due process’. If Osinbajo will be president, he will be without any human effort. In fact Yoruba people are more civilized than taking crooked means to get to any office. I believe our God will lift Nigeria up from the ‘ruined entity’. I’m optimistic.

    • Ade Mafe

      Are you a joke or a comedian? Why do you people thrive in lies. You hardly know the difference b/w lies and truth any longer. Little wonder you are never taken seriously.
      The only Ibo man that spoke out for GEJ was Dora .
      That was after OBJ, Bakare and the South West people have even demonstrated severally for power to be transferred to the dumb Jonathan.
      You people are seriously pathetic.

    • bayulona

      Jonathan was just d vice president wen Yardua was flown out of the country……and wat Nigerian fought for was to make him the acting president so as not to create a void/vacuum in the govt……but Osibajo is already the Acting President as @ wen Buhari’s left the shores of this country…… So they are two diff senerio……

      However if the President is permanently incapacitated….. or no more…….the acting president should be sworn-in immediately as the substantive President

    • Caleb Arogundade

      Balderdash!

    • Noeltony

      Drop that garbage bro! Your cohorts followed you to that corner where most Nigerians gets comfortable. TRIBE!

    • Jujubeans

      I’m proudly Igbo and I can honestly say your post is the most ridiculous piece of garbage I’ve read in a long time. Stop this hatred – it serves no one and solves ZERO of our problems!

    • Dotun Sonaike

      Stop playing ethnic politics and point of correction it was some Yorubas, (like Pastor Bakare and Lawyer Femi Falana) who led the protests and agitations for the enthronement of Jonathan.

      • Ezekiel Okeke

        It depends on your individual interpretation within your level of knowledge but the reality is inevitable as far as 21st century Igbos, eastern region of Republic Of Biafra is concerned. We will not be victim of Yoruba again.

    • yinka

      Please guys ignore him, he is a nuisance

    • tunde008

      You lie.Igbo did nothing to put GEJ in power when Yaradua was terminally sick.It was the Yorubas that made a lot of noise, and subsequently voted him in massively.

  • Agbim Amarachukwu Daniel

    God help us!!!

  • Tosin

    lol, thank you for reporting this. too funny. private residence. he’s not here. he is risen. lol.

    • Cyokere

      Lol.

    • The Movement

      Looooooooooooooolz. You’re too funny. He is risen.

    • BroVic

      Is it even a private residence?

  • Agho Omena

    Not until I see Donald Trump tweet that he spoke with Buhari, I will hold on to UK metro news. http://metro-uk.com/nigerian-president-muhammadu-buhari-dies-in-london/

    • benedict chindi

      That’s a fake metro website. The authentic metro website is http://www.metro.co.uk. Please be guided.

      Thanks.

      • Correctness

        Yes it’s a fake website but who is responsible for that? Could it be that it was used to reveal the hidden truth? Time will tell.

  • Rex

    Something is fishy about this Abuja house sickness oh, Abuja house is not a hospital, why is Nigeria’s sick president there? And why can’t the press see him? The truth will speak one-day soon.

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  • vic

    THAT WOULD MEAN, THE EVIL IS DEAD AND THE COUNTRY CAN THEN MOVE FORWARD.

  • Arit Bassey

    This drama is getting out of hand o!…….What do we believe now? Where is Mr. President?

  • Ujay

    This nonsense should stop.A sick country (economically) does not need a sick president.It is obvious that this president is not in a frame of mind to continue as president. The national assemble should not be playing politics with the lives of two hundred million people. They should invoke the necessary constitutional provisions for this kind of situation. We cannot keep hiding in the excuse that he handed over to the vice president. So what? Do we have a president or not?, No doctor can cure old age.Even in pictures he looks like a skeleton,Is that the kind of president we want to show the world? All concerned must remove selfishness greed and sentiments from this matter so that we can move forward. Congratulations to this journalist.

    • Bola

      Ujay, lets continue to pray for our president and democracy we are in. You may not have done differently if you are part of the present senators

    • Babagana Mohammed

      same to your father

      • Ujay

        And your own father too.if you have one.

  • Ogom

    Well done Guardian.. keep at it!
    We, the Nigerian people, need to be informed!

  • Gold Ruyondo

    Nigerians deserve the truth about Buhari and the state of his health.

  • Nonso Ndubisi

    If the president is incapacitated he should do the honourable thing and resign. Let us stop lying to ourselves and pretending like we don’t want him out of there. Nigeria is bigger than the president, so if his death will mean that we will move forward then so be it since he has refused to do the honourable thing.

  • Daniel

    This is a new low APC has taken Nigeria. What an Elizabethan Theatre of the absurd!

    And yet they insult those who want out of the contraption. A never-do-well country.

    What a disgraced leadership!

    • BroVic

      I once called it a sequel to Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” – one so good to make the revered bard green with envy. Kudos to The Guardian!

      • Daniel

        Thumbs up!

  • ffelixiano

    Well done The Guardian (and your reporter). I challenge other media houses to brace up in their effort to uncover the truth behind this drama surrounding Mr. President’s health.

    • Jujubeans

      Very well done to them for indeed!

  • guyphiri

    Exactly a week ago I put this up on some news fora : In times like this you get to know truly if journalists have done their work well. And I ask you journalists, independent and paid, where is the president. Does any one of you know? Has any of you seen him by private investigation, not merely what you’re told by his aides? Did any of you monitor, or was present during any of the meetings that have been reported, or even during this purported call? Does it bother you that these information have been kept hidden from you? Can you truly say you have served your country faithfully, and upheld the tenets of journalism? I remind you that you play a key role in any democracy and your actions – or dare I say inaction- have left much to be desired.
    I’m impressed by this work from Guardian. Never give up. Kudos!

  • Ify Onabu

    The Mullah has been away from his desk for almost 30 days. Is this his annual vacation? Or does he intend to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom? I know a couple of immigration lawyers who can help him. Government by subterfuge and deceit. Shame of a nation.

  • Ossy

    Amen

  • loveNigeria

    …mostly IGBOs wishes President dead, but God almighty would not grant there wish. Muhammadu Buhari will survive, live longer and see his work of cleaning Nigeria of Corruptions. How many Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani identified themselves with the dead of President. How would IGBO man become president of Nigeria with HATES!!! Identity. God bless Nigeria.

    • Jujubeans

      I’m Igbo I don’t wish him dead. As do many like me. But I do wish him gone…. he’s totally useless!

    • Richard C I.

      I dont know who you are or what you represent but i can comfirm your foolishness as regards to your coment. Can you make your contridution in this contex without having to mention Igbo Yoruba or Hausa/Fulani. The president is for Nigeria and not for Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani alone, we pray for his recovery but then, the Nigerian people need a healthy and a sound President.

    • yinka

      I disagree with the generalization of Igbo. These people on internet forum especially in Vangaurd Newpaper are mostly Igbo outcast of Osu clan and some of them are criminals from Delta State.

    • loveNigeria

      I said “…Mostly IGBOs”, yes I stand by my word. Of course, not “All” IGBOs.

  • Owen

    I support you my brother, I don’t care who you ,in as much as the Nigerian people pay his bills, we should know what is going on.Though i was one of those that supported Buhari’s government but we have to call a spade a spade, economically Nigeria is sick if the man feel he cannot cannot fix it as i’ve seen let him throw in the towel and give his second in command a chance to take over period!

  • Chukwuemeka Umeokonkwo

    Can someone tell those cattle rearer morons inside “Abuja House” that this is London, United Kingdom, and not the Zoo Called Nigeria where they use police, army and DSS to harass innocent people. The pavement outside “Abuja House” is for the public use and does not belong to that ugly looking property called “Abuja House”. Anyone can camp outside there as long as they are not obstructing public access of the Road. So if they like let them call the police one million times, nothing will happen.

  • Nigerian Community in Mauritan

    Pray for his health and wellbeing for GOD to take control

  • J. Trevor

    The policeman has no right to take your date of birth as you have not committed any crime and more so as he has not told you that you are under arrest for any crime.

    It’s a pity that the Nigerian security guards at Nigerian government buildings especially UK are very barbaric and has no training whatsoever. The Federal Government itself being comprised of very incompetent individuals has no idea of the kind of damages these idiots are doing to the image of their country.

    There is no day you pass the premises that you don’t see them either insulting visitors or committing verbal assaults. They shout on Nigerians and other nationals who has the misfortune to visit the place right across the road drawing the attention of passer-bys who would then look up to see the Nigerian flag in front of the building. You can immediately see the look of ‘no wonder’ written across their faces. My experience there on accompanying a Nigerian friend for a certain transaction is what I would never want to experience again.

    The last time I accompanied the same friend to the Zimbabwean Embassy, it happened that we were at the wrong place. They not only sat us down to help us make a call to the right address but also delegated a staff to take us to the main road to point out the directions to get there for us. Now you try that at the Nigerian House and you would wish you had never.

  • uOkwunna

    No one in his or her right sense will wish the president death but don’t forget that nature abhors vacuum because presently Osinbajo is a statue or with due respect “a robot”, we wish the president quick recovery “if” he is still alive but if not may the good lord our God facilitate the division of this contraption called Nigeria because of this national disgrace which subject the entire nation to ridicule.

  • uOkwunna

    No one in his or her right sense will wish the president death but don’t forget that nature abhors vacuum because presently Osinbajo is a statue or with due respect “a robot”, we wish the president quick recovery “if” he is still alive but if not may the good lord our God facilitate the division of this contraption called Nigeria because of this national disgrace which subjected the entire nation to ridicule.