On The Fleeting Heels Of The President-elect
IT was a hectic week for the All Progressives Congress (APC) President-elect and members of his team, as they received important personalities in Muhammadu Buhari’s Kaduna home and office, ahead of his May 29 inauguration. Buhari’s residence along Sultan Road and his Jabi Road office were like tourist centres, as people trooped in to wish him well ahead of the historic event.
In most cases, journalists in Kaduna were beaten to the game of knowing the venue where the retired General would receive his next visitor. No information came from his media team, a situation that left reporters sniffing around fruitlessly.
Between Monday and Friday, political bigwigs that visited Buhari to felicitate with him over his victory at the poll included the Borno Council of Elders; Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly; and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Others included Arewa Youths and individual Northern elders.
It comes as a surprise that as Buhari prepares to receive the mantle of leadership from President Jonathan, most of the courtesy calls paid to him in Kaduna were away from the glare of journalists blacked out by his media team. When Chief Obasanjo was to pay a visit to the president-elect on Tuesday, the news filtered around to journalists and they laid siege on Buhari’s residence and office, anxious to capture details of the event. But after several hours, it became obvious that the meeting would not hold at either venue.
Armed security men on guard at Buhari’s house later told the journalists, “We just got information that the President-elect met Obasanjo at a private guest house and he (Obasanjo) has returned to Otta.”
Speaking with The Guardian on the series of visits to Buhari during the week, his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said: “The General has not come to stay in Kaduna to receive visitors; it was coincidental that he visited his home town in Daura and later came to Kaduna where he stays, and as such received the visitors. He has gone back to Abuja where he will continue to receive both local and foreign dignitaries and also perform other official functions ahead of his inauguration on May 29. Therefore, his coming to Kaduna to receive visitors was just temporary. He is already in Abuja and he will be there to perform all functions until the inauguration.”