Some over-zealous aides of President Muhammadu Buhari are creating more problems for the already embattled president whose relationship with the National Assembly is anything but cordial.
As if the problems between Mr. Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly is not deep enough, only yesterday, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, were among the top echelon of the two chambers of the National Assembly that were refused entry into the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The federal lawmakers were scheduled to be hosted to a dinner by President Muhammadu Buhari but the same Buhari’s security details were the ones that turned them back at the gate of the Presidential Villa.
The dinner, we gathered was scheduled for 8.30p.m. at the Presidential Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa. The lawmakers, who were jointly led by Saraki and Dogara, were said to have arrived the seat of power ahead of the scheduled time. In apparent show of humility and to avoid unnecessary waste of resources by arriving on long individual convoys, the leadership of the National Assembly arrived with a Coaster bus.
Trouble however started when security operatives on duty at the Pilot Gate insisted that all the federal lawmakers must come down for security check, which infuriated the National Assembly members who decided to turn back.
“We were told to come down from the bus one-by-one for security check. Not even the presence of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives would make the security operatives change their mind. The security details who said they were acting on the order of the Aso Villa CSO showed no respect at all for the number three citizen and President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reportedly admitted that there was an “incident involving overzealous operatives.”
Even though the damage was already done and the intended message passed across to the targets at the National Assembly who really do not have a good relationship with the President, Shehu said when the President was informed about the development, he (Buhari) hurriedly sent his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to go and make peace with the lawmakers. He added that Buhari had ordered investigation and would get to the root of the matter. The presidential spokesman added that the President and Vice-President have apologized for the incident.