20170523

Journalist Went To Look For President Buhari... here's what happened

President Muhammadu Buhari may have been in and out of hospital since arriving London to see his doctors exactly a fortnight ago, if feelers from Abuja House – the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s – where he is staying, is anything to go by.

But this could not be confirmed as The Guardian has met a wall of silence from sources close to Abuja House, with two of them citing fears of losing their jobs, if they dare say anything. One source kept sealed lips and only took occasional glances at this reporter as he approached him.

A prominent aide of the president who had in February, walked to this reporter at the entrance of the property and called him “an educated illiterate,” before then saying: “if you want the president dead, you will be disappointed. The president will make a full recovery,” shunned The Guardian when asked for the where about of the president as he was driven out shortly after 1:00pm.

About 10 minutes before then, one other notable aide had arrived and also did not respond to greetings of “afternoon sir, afternoon sir,” before entering the staff quarters. But when he came out later and was going towards the main house, The Guardian repeated same and his only response was “how are you, journalist,” before going in to probably see the president.

Another aide was similarly approached, he only nodded and waved.

All the four sources contacted declined commenting or saying anything about the president’s recovery, however, one regular guest said, “whether he has seen his doctors or not, l don’t know,” when asked about the president’s recuperation. Pressed further, he said, “honestly, l have not seen the President since he came back, “ again on medical vacation.

Two staff members on the payroll of the High Commission told The Guardian the same thing. 

One said, “I’m sorry, l cannot say anything to you.” Though the second noted that they have been “busy,” since Buhari arrived, but wouldn’t go further, except to show fear of “losing my job.”

One female staff member when asked yesterday if the president had come back from seeing his doctors, simply said “l don’t know about that.”

As if avoiding The Guardian, the aides and guests no longer use the main entrance to the house, once inside the property. Even on Sunday afternoon, when one arrived at about 3.40pm, the driver packed very close to the side entrance of the house rather than the front door, perhaps to prevent the reporter seeing anyone being driven out.

Even the security didn’t respond to continual pressing of the buzzer-both last week and yesterday.

However, the beautiful flowers used to adorn Abuja house weren’t silent. They did catch the attention of three Italian tourists as one of them took several shots as he walked past.