Journalism of Courage

Buhari begs lawmakers over row with security officials

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n apology by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who were at the receiving end of a row with security officials at the Villa, brought down the curtains on the ugly episode.

The lawmakers came to the Villa to attend a planned dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari, but the dinner failed to hold due to misunderstanding between security officials at the gate and the leadership of the National Assembly.

Tension built up at the Aso Villa main gate Thursday night when the chief security officer  insisted that all the federal lawmakers must come down from the Coaster bus that conveyed them for security check. This was said to have infuriated the National Assembly members who decided to turn back.

“What happened was that they were all in a private bus. When they got to the gate, they were told that the bus could only convey Saraki and Dogara into the premises; that others should alight from the vehicle for security screening. But the other senators disagreed with the security men, insisting that they were there on the invitation of the President and the bus must covey all of them into the Villa, said a source in the know to the Punch.

“When the security operatives were asked about who issued the order, they said it was the CSO to the President. At that point, Saraki asked them to turn back; that if others would not be allowed in, he and Doraga would not go in.


The Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, had to go and make peace with the lawmakers, pleading with them to return.

President Buhari later met behind closed doors at his official residence with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, along with the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and some presidential aides.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, told State House correspondents on Thursday night that the President offered the apology after the closed door meeting with the Senate President and the Speaker..

He said the President rescheduled the dinner with the lawmakers for Oct. 31.




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