Despite entreaties, the Presidency over the week shrugged prodding to be categorical, just as it kept sealed lips on the scheduled return of President Mohammadu Buhari to the country today.
President Buhari embarked on a 10-day private visit to the UK on April 25, saying he would return to the country today. The President’s return, however, is being kept top secret with silence on the part of officials of the Presidency.
For instance, the Presidency did not respond, yesterday, to enquiries on what level of preparations was being put in place to receive Mr. President in Abuja, as originally scheduled.
Hitherto, the President’s return was heralded by frenetic activities, with officials crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s, including deployment of heavily armed soldiers who line up along the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport road in Abuja to receive him.
At the airport tarmac, some high profile government officials, including the Chief of Staff, Service Chiefs, as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), among others, were usually on hand alongside a cultural troupe, as part of the reception.
However, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, was not forthcoming when The Guardian sought his reaction to the trending story on President Buhari’s return or otherwise, as originally scheduled for today.
But a terse response by the Presidential Spokesman instructed our correspondent to “please read our response in The Nation and Punch today (yesterday).” He did not provide details on the issue.
Concerns have also been raised since April 25 on why President Buhari did not write the National Assembly to formally transmit power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to act as President, while he is away in compliance with Section 145(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.