Read a Nigerian journalist making enquiries about Pres Buhari’s health in London

President Muhammadu Buhari may have been in and out of hospital since arriving London to see his doctors exactly a fortnight ago, if feelers from Abuja House – the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s – where he is staying, is anything to go by.

But this could not be confirmed as The Guardian has met a wall of silence from sources close to Abuja House, with two of them citing fears of losing their jobs, if they dare say anything. One source kept sealed lips and only took occasional glances at this reporter as he approached him yesterday afternoon.

A prominent aide of the president who had in February, walked to this reporter at the entrance of the property and called him “an educated illiterate,” before then saying: “if you want the president dead, you will be disappointed. The president will make a full recovery,” shunned The Guardian when asked for the where about of the president as he was driven out shortly after 1:00pm.

About 10 minutes before then, one other notable aide had arrived and also did not respond to greetings of “afternoon sir, afternoon sir,” before entering the staff quarters. But when he came out later and was going towards the main house, The Guardian repeated same and his only response was “how are you, journalist,” before going in to probably see the president.

Another aide was similarly approached, he only nodded and waved.

All the four sources contacted declined commenting or saying anything about the president’s recovery, however, one regular guest said, “whether he has seen his doctors or not, l don’t know,” when asked about the president’s recuperation. Pressed further, he said, “honestly, l have not seen the President since he came back, “ again on medical vacation.

Two staff members on the payroll of the High Commission told The Guardian the same thing. One said, “

I’m sorry, l cannot say anything to you.” Though the second noted that they have been “busy,” since Buhari arrived, but wouldn’t go further, except to show fear of “losing my job.”

One female staff member when asked yesterday if the president had come back from seeing his doctors, simply said “l don’t know about that.”

As if avoiding The Guardian, the aides and guests no longer use the main entrance to the house, once inside the property. Even on Sunday afternoon, when one arrived at about 3.40pm, the driver packed very close to the side entrance of the house rather than the front door, perhaps to prevent the reporter seeing anyone being driven out.

Even the security didn’t respond to continual pressing of the buzzer-both last week and yesterday.

However, the beautiful flowers used to adorn Abuja house weren’t silent. They did catch the attention of three Italian tourists as one of them took several shots as he walked past.

Read what happened to Nigerian journalist that wanted to enquire about Pres Buhari’s health in London

President Muhammadu Buhari may have been in and out of hospital since arriving London to see his doctors exactly a fortnight ago, if feelers from Abuja House – the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the Court of St James’s – where he is staying, is anything to go by.

But this could not be confirmed as The Guardian has met a wall of silence from sources close to Abuja House, with two of them citing fears of losing their jobs, if they dare say anything. One source kept sealed lips and only took occasional glances at this reporter as he approached him yesterday afternoon.

A prominent aide of the president who had in February, walked to this reporter at the entrance of the property and called him “an educated illiterate,” before then saying: “if you want the president dead, you will be disappointed. The president will make a full recovery,” shunned The Guardian when asked for the where about of the president as he was driven out shortly after 1:00pm.

About 10 minutes before then, one other notable aide had arrived and also did not respond to greetings of “afternoon sir, afternoon sir,” before entering the staff quarters. But when he came out later and was going towards the main house, The Guardian repeated same and his only response was “how are you, journalist,” before going in to probably see the president.

Another aide was similarly approached, he only nodded and waved.

All the four sources contacted declined commenting or saying anything about the president’s recovery, however, one regular guest said, “whether he has seen his doctors or not, l don’t know,” when asked about the president’s recuperation. Pressed further, he said, “honestly, l have not seen the President since he came back, “ again on medical vacation.

Two staff members on the payroll of the High Commission told The Guardian the same thing. One said, “

I’m sorry, l cannot say anything to you.” Though the second noted that they have been “busy,” since Buhari arrived, but wouldn’t go further, except to show fear of “losing my job.”

One female staff member when asked yesterday if the president had come back from seeing his doctors, simply said “l don’t know about that.”

As if avoiding The Guardian, the aides and guests no longer use the main entrance to the house, once inside the property. Even on Sunday afternoon, when one arrived at about 3.40pm, the driver packed very close to the side entrance of the house rather than the front door, perhaps to prevent the reporter seeing anyone being driven out.

Even the security didn’t respond to continual pressing of the buzzer-both last week and yesterday.

However, the beautiful flowers used to adorn Abuja house weren’t silent. They did catch the attention of three Italian tourists as one of them took several shots as he walked past.

Twitter co- Founder, Evan Williams sorry for social media’s role in Trump’s rise

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Evan Williams

The co-founder of Twitter Evan Williams has apologised for the social media platform’s role in Donald Trump’s rise to the White House.

In an interview with the New York Times on Saturday, Williams said that he recently learned that President Trump said he believes Twitter put him in the White House.

“It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that,” he said. “If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”

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President Donald Trump
The White House did not respond to a request for a comment on Williams’ statement, the Times reported.

The 45-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur criticised the internet for rewarding extremes, calling it “broken.”

Williams said that he was wrong for thinking that the world would be a better place if there was a platform for everyone to freely speak and exchange ideas.

In commencement speech at the University of Nebraska this month, Williams said: “Some would say that’s what we deserve for giving the power of tweets to Donald Trump.”

Trump has often used Twitter to dispute reports seen in the news. Recently, Trump took to the social media platform to deny that neither he nor his campaign had any involvement with Russia in influencing the results of the presidential election.

On May 12 he tweeted: “Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians and Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.”

He tweeted again later this week calling the media’s reporting of the matter the “single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”.

•  Culled from Fox News

FG paid €2m for Chibok girls release – Report

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Apart from handing over five prominent terrorists to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of 82 Chibok girls recently, €2m was also paid to the terrorist group, the British Broadcasting Corporation reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari was alleged to have been reluctant in approving the disbursement of the money.

According to the BBC, the money paid in cash was handed over to the insurgents in exchange for the release of the girls.

The report noted that the five senior Boko Haram militants were bomb-makers.

It noted further that it took a lot of convincing to get Buhari to approve the money.

“It should have happened sooner, but the President was hesitating about freeing the five (commanders) – and especially about the money,” the BBC quoted a source with detailed knowledge of the deal, as saying.

“The issue of the money was the most difficult part of the whole negotiation. He didn’t want to pay any money. The ransom was €2m. Boko Haram asked for euros. They chose the suspects and gave us the list of girls who would be freed,” the source added.

The online medium noted that the claim could not be independently verified.

The report added that though there were setbacks during the negotiation, trust was gradually built on both sides.

A human rights lawyer, Zanna Mustapha, was part of the negotiations, and was the key middleman in the release of the 82 Chibok girls.

With more than a hundred Chibok girls still being held, efforts to get them released are continuing.

There are thought to be at least 13 more Boko Haram commanders in the Federal Government’s custody who could be exchanged.

Speaking on the money paid by the Presidency, a retired military officer, Col. Olusegun Oloruntoba, pointed out that no amount of money or sacrifice was too much to bring back the Chibok girls.

“No amount of money can buy a life; how much more that of 82 young lives. The ransom paid is in favour of Nigeria and the Chibok girls’ family in particular. I urge the Federal Government to go ahead and make whatever sacrifice it takes to effect the release of the remaining Chibok girls.”

However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, during an interview with one of our correspondents on Saturday, denied the allegations that the Federal Government paid a ransom of €2m for the release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls.

The minister said only five Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the girls.

He said, “I emphatically deny on behalf of the Federal Government that any form of ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the 82 Chibok girls.

“Apart from the five Boko Haram commanders, the exchange of which we had already made public, no other concession was made. Any other thing to the contrary is absolutely false

Credit Punch

See joy and laughter as the first and second batches of Chibok girls reunite (pics)

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The first and second batches of the freed Chibok schoolgirls have been reunited by the Federal Government.

21 of the abducted school girls were released by Boko Haram in October 2016 while another 82 regained their freedom two weeks ago.

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Both batches of girls were freed by Boko Haram in a swap deal with the Federal Government.

The reunion took place on Saturday in Abuja where the girls have been kept by the government since their release.
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The girls are part of the 276 girls abducted by the insurgents from Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno State in 2014.

See throwback picture Florence Ajimobi Presenting Flowers To Adeyinka Adebayo In 1966

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The current first lady of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi presenting flowers to Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo as the 2nd Military Governor of the old Western Region in 1966 in the picture above

Was she being prepared for a bigger role in life? Today she’s the first lady of Oyo State, south west, Nigeria.

Florence-Ajimobi

She’s married to the Governor of Oyo state

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Gov Ajimobi and wife Florence

Buhari’ll Sign 2017 Budget, Osinbajo’ll Take It From There – Ita Enang

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Mr Ita Enang has said that President Buhari will assent to the 2017 budget while the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will take it up from there.

Mr. Enang made the statement in an interview on Channels Television’s political programme on Wednesday.

According to him, “The 2017 budget will be transmitted to Mr president and the President will assent to the budget.“

“The President will assent to the budget, the acting President is in office and when the budget is transmitted, it will go through the processes and all those other questions will answer itself.”

He ​also ​confirmed that the Presidency received the budget on Wednesday afternoon.

Enang also said: “In respect to the budget, it was only this morning that the Minister of National Planning informed the council that the budget has been passed. He has not sent to us individually, copies of the passed budget.

“We now need to look at it against what we sent, and if there is any discrepancies, we will report back to the Minister of Budget and National Planning on harmonization.”

Recall that controversy over who would be saddled with the responsibility of assenting to the budget had arisen following dissenting voices from different quarters that the Acting President Osinbajo may not be the one to sign the budget.

Recall also that the House of Representatives on May 11, passed the 2017 Budget of 7.441 trillion Naira.

But, fielding questions from State House Correspondents earlier after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed also disclosed that ministers were studying the budget as passed by the National Assembly.

However, the Office of the Acting President yesterday cleared the air over the assent of the 2017 budget affirming that it would be singed into law when and if the Acting President expresses satisfaction with the bill.

Spokesman to the Acting President, Mr. Laolu Akande in a tweet late last night said “Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set and he is satisfied, Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 budget.”

Credit Vanguard

Osinbajo Condemns Coup In Cote D’ivoire Amid Similar Fears In Nigeria

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria condemned in strong terms the recent developments in Cote d’Ivoire in which a small fraction of the country’s Armed Forces mutinied against the Government.

This is contained in a statement by Laolu Akande, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.

It said “Nigeria presses strong and unflinching support for the Government of President Alhassan Ouattara and welcomes ongoing efforts at resolving the crisis.

“In this context, the Federal Government urges the parties to the crisis to exercise maximum restraint, remain calm and continue with dialogue and negotiations with the Government of President Ouattara.

“Nigeria also urges the mutineers to return to their barracks and to refrain from any action capable of undermining the peace, security and democracy in the country.
“The Federal Government further urges the people of Cote d’Ivoire to remain steadfast in their support for the Government and to refrain from giving support to the mutineers in the overall interest of peace, tranquillity, good order and prosperity of the country.

The coup in Cote d’Ivoire occurred at a time Nigeria’s Army Chief, TY Buratai, Tuesday, personally confirmed that politicians were holding meeting with Army officers and soldiers.

He vowed to punish any indicted officer or soldier taking part in such meetings, warning that the Army hierarchy will not sit back and allow mutiny against constituted authority.

His alarm was an affirmation that powerful forces may be enticing Army personnel to come out of the barracks to topple President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

The unholy alliance, it was gathered, followed the health crisis of the President which some elements are trying to use to seize power.

Nigerians have been expressing concern over the alarming statement by the Army chief and more worried over the safety of Acting President Osinbajo due to absence of his principal, Buhari.

Credit Daily post

The man who injected late Senator Adeleke with a ‘banned’ drug, speaks

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Alfred Aderibigbe

A mild drama occurred today at the ongoing Coroner inquest set up by the State Government of Osun to investigate the death of late Sen. Isiaka Adeleke in Osogbo, the State capital, as one Alfred Aderibigbe, the man who was alleged to have administered the deceased with ban substances hours before his demise, requested for 48 hours grace to get himself psychologically fit for his testimony.

A visibly shaken Aderibigbe who was drenched in his sweat, fought hard to dry the tears that flowed down his eyes. For the few minutes he took the stand, he was shaking, frightful and possessed an unstable appearance.

Aderibigbe’s lawyer Lekan Alabi had earlier called for an adjournment due to the unavailability of an interpreter for his client.

The lawyer said the health assistant is not fluent in English and lamented the short notice of appearance on the matter.

But leading Aderibigbe in evidence in Yoruba language, the nurse said he met Adeleke over 20 years ago while working at the State Hospital, Ede.

He said he had treated a girl who was rushed to the facility due to convulsion when they met.

Aderibigbe said it was later he found out that the little girl was Adeleke’s daughter and the Senator later sent for him and gave him some money.

The nurse also added that the late senator treated him like a son after then as they became close over time.

Aderibigbe said: “After a while, I started treating him (medically). Whenever he was given prescription and he probably didn’t complete his treatment in Abuja, I would administer the remaining.”

“He had other nurses in Abuja, and some in Lagos.

“I’m his nurse in Ede. I don’t know any of them (other nurses), but I know that whenever he was given injection by those nurses, he would show me in order to know the new area to inject him.

“He was hypertensive and he had gouty arthritis. I was close to him. I used to advise him to rest for him to be okay,”Aderibigbe said.

“He stopped smoking for a long time. He drank alcoholic drinks.”

Consequently, his lawyer, Mr Lekan Alabi, presented a motion for adjournment, arguing that the summon for his client to come and testify was delivered to him yesterday. He further averred that his client, Mr. Aderibigbe was psychologically unfit to give his testimony.

Mr. Alabi further pleaded with the court for Aderibigbe’s hearing to be postponed untilFriday, 19th May 2017 to allow his client enough time prepare for the testimony in court.

In his ruling, the chairman of Coroner inquest, Olusegun Ayilara, assured Mr. Aderibigbe that it wasn’t criminal proceedings, but a coroner’s inquest to determine what took place.

He further adjourned Aderibigbe’s hearing tillThursday, 18th of May, 2017.

Meet the chief negotiator and how Chibok girls were released from Boko Haram

Lawyer Zannah Mustapha, mediator for Chibok girls, speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Abuja, Nigeria May 8, 2017.
Zanna Mustapha

In our series of letters from African journalists, novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani profiles the lawyer who brokered the release of 82 women captured by Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

When 57-year-old Zannah Mustapha arrived for the handover of the 82 Chibok girls freed from Boko Haram after three years in captivity, a militant read out the girls’ names from a list.

One by one, the abducted schoolgirls, now women, lined up along the outskirts of a forest near Kumshe town, on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. Each of them was covered from head to ankle in a dark-coloured hijab.

“I went ahead of the Red Cross. They [the militants] brought the girls to me,” said Mr Mustapha, the lawyer from Borno state in north-east Nigeria.

Some of the 82 released Chibok girls wait to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (not pictured) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria 07 May 2017.Mr Mustapha says the girls started singing for joy when they got into Red Cross vehicles

He has been mediating between the government and militants for the release of the Chibok girls and for an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari told the media that his government was willing to negotiate with “credible” leaders of Boko Haram for the release of the girls.

More than 200 of them were abducted a year earlier from the north-eastern town of Chibok, sparking global outrage.

Previous attempts had failed, with different groups coming forward, each claiming to be the militants in possession of the missing schoolgirls.

It was Mr Mustapha who succeeded in convincing the Nigerian authorities that this particular group should be taken for what they say, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu told me.

One of the freed women
The freed women will now have to rebuild their lives

“He had dealt with them in the past and they keep to their word,” he said.

Mr Mustapha’s role as a mediator dates back to his founding the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School in 2007, to provide free Islamic-based education to orphans and the poor.

When the Boko Haram insurgency erupted in 2009, the school offered admission to the children of soldiers and government officials killed by the militants, as well as those of militants killed by the state.

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The 82 met the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari after they were rescued

Mr Mustapha then sought the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which began providing free meals to the pupils.

He also encouraged parents to form an association which would reach out to other widows and convince them to send their children to his school.

The ICRC soon extended its humanitarian services to the mothers, providing them free food and other items every month.

“This was at a time when the wives of Boko Haram militants were being arrested and their houses demolished, so Boko Haram saw me and the ICRC as neutral parties,” Mr Mustapha said.


During the previous government of President Goodluck Jonathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Maiduguri, the epicentre of the insurgency, to intervene in the escalating crisis.

He then set up a group to discuss peace with Boko Haram. Mr Mustapha was included in it because of the relationship he had forged with the families of Boko Haram militants.

After the Swiss ambassador to Nigeria paid a visit to the Future Prowess school in 2012, he arranged for Mr Mustapha to go to Zurich and Geneva to receive formal training as a mediator.

“We were already trying to negotiate peace with Boko Haram before the Chibok girls were kidnapped,” Mr Mustapha said.

The initial negotiation was for a batch of 20 Chibok girls to be released.

But, as a sign of commitment to their relationship, Boko Haram added an extra woman, whom Mr Mustapha said was their gift to him, hence the number 21.

Michelle Obama tweets a picture of herself highlighting the #BringBackOurGirls campaignThe kidnapping provoked global outrage in 2014 including from Michelle Obama

When they were released in October 2016, she was chosen by Boko Haram to read out the names of the other 20 women from a list.

Mr Mustapha said the 21 women were lined up and asked by Boko Haram militants if they had been raped. They all said they were not.

When a militant approached a woman who was carrying a baby, she said that she was pregnant at the time of her abduction, having got married a few weeks earlier.

The baby girl in her arms, she said, was her husband’s child.

For some reason, Boko Haram, a group that has cultivated a reputation for brutality, wanted it to be known that it was only after the women “agreed” to get married that the militants had sexual relations with them.


Adaobi Tricia NwaubaniADAOBI TRICIA NWAUBANI

“I felt that I have done something that is worth saying to the world that I have done this,” Mr Mustapha said.


This process of lining up the women, pointing at each one and asking the same question, was repeated at the beginning of May when 82 more women were released.

One of about seven Boko Haram militants, who accompanied them, went from woman to woman asking: “Throughout the time you were with us, did anyone rape you or touch you?” Mr Mustapha said, adding that each of them replied in the negative.

None of the second batch of 82 captives came with a child.

But one had an amputated limb and was walking with crutches, an injury she sustained, according to what Mr Mustapha was told, during Nigerian military air strikes against Boko Haram.

‘They all ran’

“You are free today,” Mr Mustapha announced to the 82 women after all the names were called out.

“They all smiled,” he said.

He believes that their subdued reaction was as a result of the presence of the militants, all armed with guns, some wearing army camouflage uniforms and boots.

Mr Mustapha then took some photographs with the women. The militants also had their video camera on hand and recorded the event. ICRC vehicles eventually arrived.

“When I told them to go to the cars, they all ran,” Mr Mustapha said. “Immediately they entered the vehicles, they started singing for joy. Some shed tears.”

Mr Mustapha has received a number of accolades for his work with Future Prowess School. He was a finalist for the 2016 Robert Burns humanitarian award, given to those who have “saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through self-sacrifice, selfless service, hands-on charitable or volunteer work, or other acts”. He was also given a 2017 Aurora Prize Modern Day Hero award, for those whose “life and actions guarantee the safe existence of others”.

However, he described handing over the 82 freed girls to the Nigerian government as “the highest point in my life”.

“I felt that I have done something that is worth saying to the world that I have done this,” he said.

Credit Bbc