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Buhari's health story: Presidency expels Punch Reporter

Buhari's health story: Presidency expels Punch Reporter

The presidency yesterday ex­pelled the State House Cor­respondent of The Punch Newspapers, Mr. Olalekan Ade­tayo, over a story concerning President Muhammadu Buhari’s ill-health.
The newspaper had on Sun­day published a story titled “Fresh Anxiety in Aso Rock over Buha­ri’s Health”, which the presidency obviously felt uncomfortable with.
On Monday afternoon, Ade­tayo was summoned by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Presi­dent, Mr. Bashir Abubakar, who in­terrogated him briefly.
After he was asked to write a statement, Adetayo’s identity card which authorised his entry into the Presidential Villa, was subsequent­ly taken away from him.
He was thereafter escorted by security officials to pick-up his per­sonal items from the press gallery before he was marched out of the Villa.
Incidentally, the CSO had only penultimate Thursday held a meeting with members of the State House Press Corps during which he spoke to them on how to report the Villa.
The last time a State House cor­respondent was similarly expelled was in 2015 under the Goodluck Jonathan administration when a reporter of the German radio sta­tion, Duetsche Welle, Mr. Ubale Musa, was de-accredited for ask­ing the president a question securi­ty officials regarded as too sensitive.
Ubale was however, reaccred­ited to cover the Presidential Villa after Buhari assumed office.
Buhari disowns CSO
Meanwhile, Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publici­ty, Mr. Femi Adesina, has react­ed promptly on his tweeter han­dle that he was not consulted by the CSO before The Punch cor­respondent was expelled from the Villa.
He said the President re­mained committed to press free­dom and that the issue would be amicably resolved.
Adesina wrote: “We weren’t consulted in the Media Office by the CSO before he expelled The Punch reporter. President Buha­ri is committed to press freedom.
“An amicable solution would be found to The Punch reporter matter. President Buhari does not intend to muzzle the media in any way.”-The Authority

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