More than 48 hours after he became the President, Buhari and his VP, Prof Yemi Osinbajo are yet to move into Aso Rock. The head of his media team, Garba Shehu, on Sunday has explained why and according to him, this is because Buhari’s official residence was not ready for habitation.
Shehu, in an exclusive interview with Punch said workers were currently cleaning and refurbishing the President’s official residence. That Buhari would not move in until that exercise was completed.
“As far as the President is concerned, the place (his official residence) is not ready yet. Workers are cleaning and refurbishing the place. Once the exercise is completed, the President will move in.”
When asked to be specific on how soon Buhari would move in, Shehu said he believed it would not take time.
Meanwhile, personnel of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, especially security operatives are currently at a crossroads on the direction their work will take this week.
The PUNCH’s investigation on Sunday revealed that their dilemma was based on the failure of President Buhari to relocate to the State House and his failure to appoint key aides, three days after his inauguration.
A Presidency official who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said they were not yet sure of the President’s schedule and itinerary for the week.
This, he said, was because Buhari had yet to appoint a Chief of Staff whose responsibility it is to arrange the President’s day-to-day activities. He said:
“As we are talking now, we do not know his (the President’s) activities for tomorrow (today). We cannot plan for his activities. We do not know which groups he will be meeting or how many people he will be meeting.
It is when we have an idea of those who he will be meeting that we can schedule them regarding allocation of time and venue. These would have been easier for us if a Chief of Staff is in place.”
A security source also said the situation was affecting the security department. He said because they were not carried along, the inauguration gala night held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Friday nearly flopped as people kept trooping in.
He however expressed the hope that by the time Buhari’s Chief Security Officer meets with them on Monday (today), there would be a clear direction on their activities.
“For now, we are waiting for the two big men (President and Vice President) to move into the Villa so that we can do our jobs. For now, we are only securing the seat of power without the men of power,” he declared.