Home OPINION COMMENTARY Why Buhari Abandoned Abuja, By Tony Eluemunor

Why Buhari Abandoned Abuja, By Tony Eluemunor

Nigeria President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari
Nigeria President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari

First, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari had appeared rather uncomfortable with the sumptuous and swanky Defence Guest House, Maitama, Abuja, which was kept at his disposal recently as part of the transition to the presidency. It must be noted that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua also used the same group of chalets in that large undulating compound, with well-watered lawns and beautiful flowers, as he got ready to take over power from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The moment Buhari began to use the place, security presence made the area a hell for the public. Buhari personally complained about such abuses and asked that the number of security personnel on duty to guard him be reduced. Also, it was said that Buhari was only coming there during the day to receive visitors and to transact other official businesses but that he was not sleeping there at night.

So, where was he passing the night? A source said that he was alternating between his Abuja home and Nasir el-Rufai’s house in Aso Drive, Abuja. There has been a little controversy about the ownership of this particular house and how a Buhari that appears to be moderately wealthy, if not poor, could own two Abuja homes. On this, the source said that what has been taken to be Buhari’s main house in Abuja was actually given to him by Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) but it is not known if Danjuma changed the deeds of the property’s ownership to Buhari or he simply allowed Buhari to use it for as long as he wished. The other house that Buhari was said to have also occupied in Abuja was said to have been owned by the business mogul, Aliko Dangote.

It was in the same way that Aliko Dangote also came to the help of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba. It would surprise many to know that the house that Na’Abba first occupied after his Speakership, in Wuse Two, Abuja, was a rented property. When he could no longer sustain the rent payment, Dangote was said to have come to his aid for a while by making a building available for his use, having known that Na’Abba did not won an Abuja home because of his transparency while in office . Now, Na’abba  resides in Kano.

Buhari left Abuja abruptly early this week for his home town Daura. Many have speculated that he fled Abuja for security reasons. But sources close to Buhari said that Buhari’s security details are up to any task, having protected him adequately during the hot days of the acrimonious election campaign. Buhari so appears to have an implicit faith in his personal security team that when the State Security Services (SSS) posted an operative of a higher rank as head of his security details, Buhari rejected the new appointee and said that he had been with the other one for six years and he was happy with his services.  This happened after Buhari emerged President-elect. The man with the higher rank had to go. Again it could not be ascertained if Buhari took that decision because he did not fully trust the Department of State Secuirty, which openly sided with the Peoples  Democratic Party during the campaign and once raided the All Progressives Congress office in Lagos, in a dastardly manner.

Yet, the source said that Buhari had complained about the influx of people scheming for appointment in his government and the struggle for attention from sundry influence peddlers and tale bearers, that such brazenness has been disturbing him and detracting from his attention on Nigeria’s problems, which by the day, appear much worse that he ever anticipated. [myad]


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