Posted by News Express | 21 February 2017 | 3,217 times
Members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s household continued to evade the reporter of Nigeria’s flagship, The Guardian, in London yesterday. They were forced to enter Abuja House – as the Nigerian High Commission is otherwise called – through the back door so as not to be seen by the reporter, Mr. Tunde Oyedoyin, when a Mercedes Jeep bringing them back to the premises arrived around 4:09 p.m.
On sighting the reporter outside the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, the driver drove very close to the main door and by the time they noticed the reporter had run to the second gate, they didn’t use the front entrance that had been opened by one of the members of staff inside.
Rather, the vehicle reversed very close to the side door and dropped off the occupants. One of the girls sighted on Sunday looked back carefully, and her eyes and those of the reporter met, before she went in through the side door.
Security staff at the Abuja House hung the phone on The Guardian when the reporter arrived at 3:50 p.m. yesterday. When the entry phone was pressed and a security official picked it, the reporter requested to speak to “any member of the house or official of the High Commission.” The security man replied: “You have to go to the High Commission.” When told that “I don’t want the High Commission, I want to speak to any member of the staff working here,” he insisted, “You have to go to the High Commission, there’s no one to speak to,” before
angrily hanging up.
On Sunday, two guests leaving the residence around 4:54 p.m. were greeted “evening, sirs” before being asked twice, “Did you see Mr. President?” None of the two replied, but gave this reporter a look, before walking to the end of the street.
The two London Metropolitan Police constables – Marlett and Sock – who were called to arrest The Guardian reporter in front of the Abuja House, on Sunday afternoon were given a crash course on why Nigerians want to know the true situation of President Buhari’s extended medical leave.
“This is the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, so it is Nigerian property,” the reporter told the policemen, as they started interrogating him about why he had come to spend the Sunday afternoon at the Kensington address.
The Guardian explained: “Our president has been on vacation since last month and should have resumed since February 6, but we are being told by his people that he is resting here and awaiting the results of some medical tests. So, Nigerians just want to know if he is here and for him to speak to them.”
One guest who was departing could not be smuggled through the side door as he was on a wheelchair. The presence of The Guardian in front of the house seemed to have created a dilemma for people in the Abuja House, as it took them about 10 minutes between when a silver Mercedes Benz cab was parked in front of the house and when the wheelchair-bound guest was brought out and carried inside the cab. About three people accompanied him out and everyone was smiling until the reporter tried waving the Benz to stop on its way out.
The action drew the fury of one of the insiders, a grey-haired man. He approached the reporter, pointing his finger and warning him not to stop the cab nor talk to the people inside as it drove out around 4:30 p.m.
About five minutes later, another blue Mercedes Benz arrived with a female occupant. Not only did she too used the side entrance, the driver was instructed to park so close to its door, when it was time to offload the contents of the boot.
•Adapted from a Guardian report.
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