Buhari Foils A Coup! | Independent Newspapers Limited
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COLUMNIST, Inside the Presidency

Buhari Foils A Coup!

Posted: Sep 27, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Inside The Presidency

Most of last week at the Presidential Villa was ‘empty’. Not much went down as the week wound down to the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations and weekend. Last Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari spent the day at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport hosting other West African leaders as they discussed how to reinstate the transitional president of Burkina Faso, Michael Kafando, who was toppled by soldiers from the presidential guard.

The following day, which was the last working day of the week before the Sallah public holidays, the President travelled to his home town of Daura for the celebration. He however, sent Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to represent him in an ECOWAS delegation to Burkina Faso for the restoration to power of Kafando. So, the VIce-President who would have held the fort at the Aso Rock Villa, headed for Ougadougou instead.

With President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo kept busy at the airport and Ougadougou, respectively, the Presidential Villa took the back seat for Burkina Faso to take the front burner. Nonetheless, it was a victory of sorts for the presidency that Buhari was able to ensure the return of democracy to Burkina Faso. His top aides were upbeat that their boss, once a beneficiary of a military coup when he toppled the civilian government of Shehu Shagari in 1983, has chalked up some evidence to further his claims of being a born again democrat committed to sustaining democracy, not just in Nigeria but in the West African sub-region. He once overthrew a civilian government, but this time around, toppled some military coup plotters and in a commendable way. As far as the Presidency is concerned, this was certainly worth working diligently for.

•••No Sallah Homage To Aso Rock

Anyway, the only other event that probably could have overtaken the Burkinabe adventure would have been the Sallah prayers at the Eid prayer ground in Abuja. Many thought that President Buhari would worship there on Thursday, along with embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Now that would have been the story!

With fingers being pointed at the Villa as being behind the fraud trial of Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), you can understand the expectation of news hunters who looked forward to the two men sitting side by side in supplication to Allah. The last time they did so during Eid-el-Fitr celebration two months ago, there was so much tension in the air. And now, we missed another opportunity. In fact, in case you have not heard, tongues are wagging in some places that the President chose to celebrate his Sallah in Daura so as not to have to meet Saraki at the Eid prayer ground in Abuja. Such insinuation is despite the vehement denial of the presidency that Buhari is too busy to instigate any malicious prosecution or persecution of the Senate President.

Whatever the case, I wish to remind the president that he also denied Abuja muslims the chance of sending a delegation to pay him the traditional sallah homage at the Aso Rock Villa. Such occasions come with prayers, small chops, drinks and presidential handshake for everyone around. Now all these didn’t happen. Maybe, this time around the menu would have included new delicacies like refreshing kunu or fura da nono. There is hope, he will not disappear from the Villa again around a season like this. Barka da Sallah all the same.