Home Top Stories Buhari’s Health: We Weren’t Consulted Before The Punch Reporter’s Expulsion — Presidency

Buhari’s Health: We Weren’t Consulted Before The Punch Reporter’s Expulsion — Presidency


By Teddy Nwanunobi

Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Monday evening, reacted to the earlier news of the expulsion of The Punch Newspapers’ State House reporter, Olalekan Adetayo, claiming that the media office of the Presidency was not consulted before the action was taken.

Adetayo was earlier expelled from the Presidential Villa, Abuja by the Chief Security Officer to Buhari, Bashir Abubakar, after being earlier summoned to Abubakar’s office, and questioned on two reports that were considered uncomplimentary of Buhari and his administration.

He referred to the lead story of SUNDAYPUNCH of April 23, 2017, titled “Fresh anxiety in Aso Rock over Buhari’s poor health” and queried the motive behind it.

He also referred to Adetayo’s column, Aso Rock Lens, published on Saturday, April 22, 2017, and titled “Seat of power’s event centres going into extinction”.

Abubakar asked one of his men to go and take Adetayo’s statement and revert to him.

He, thereafter, directed the Officer in Charge, Department of State Services (DSS), Victor Nwafor, to withdraw Adetayo’s accreditation tag, and lead him out of the premises, after retrieving his personal belongings from the Press Gallery of the Council Chambers.

Nwafor left an instruction at the Admin Reception that Adetayo should no longer be allowed into the premises, after which he handed him over to another security operative, who led him to where his car was parked to ensure that he left the premises as instructed.

Reacting to the ugly incident, Adesina reassured of Buhari’s respect to press freedom, saying that “President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to press freedom”.

Adesina’s terse statement

It would be recalled that the CSO had, penultimate Thursday, had an interactive session with members of the State House Press Corps, during which he handed them guidelines on how to report the Villa affairs and activities.

The CSO had also, in January, summoned the correspondents of Daily Trust and The Punch over a story on an accidental discharge that injured a female worker at the State House.

Also to be recalled is that, in 2015, Buhari’s administration reinstated the correspondent of Radio Deuchewelle, Musa Ubale, who was expelled by the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Ubale is the incumbent chairman of the State House Press Corps.

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